Oak Bluffs ready to explore regional police force
Oak Bluffs selectmen voted Tuesday to ask Tisbury selectmen whether they might be interested in creating a regional police force for the two towns. The Oak Bluffs officials voted unanimously to write to their counterparts in Tisbury about the possibility.
"They're using a consultant to look at replacing their police chief," said chairman Greg Coogan. "We've had these discussions in the past, about whether there could be any possibility of working with Vineyard Haven as a joint police department. I think we should at least make them aware that we've had these discussions in the past, and we would be willing to work with him."
Regionalization of the two police forces was explored, but eventually rejected, three years ago, after former Tisbury Chief Ted Saulnier resigned. Selectmen also briefly discussed the possibility of regionalizing ambulance and assessing services.
"We do need to start looking at attempting to regionalize as many services as we possibly can," said selectman Ron DiOrio. "We can no longer keep going back to the taxpayers."
Fast-moving gale leads to marine damage
A quickly developing low pressure system that brought high winds and waves caught many Island boaters by surprise early Friday morning. There were several reports of minor damage to vessels, docks, and moorings, reported in Oak Bluffs Harbor and Vineyard Haven Harbor.
"It was six hours of scary," said Adam Demeusy, who endured a sleepless night trying to protect his sport fishing boat in Oak Bluffs Harbor from high easterly winds and the accompanying ocean waves. "It was as close to a disaster as we could possibly be."
Oak Bluffs Harbormaster Todd Alexander said several finger piers were damaged, along with ten wooden ladders along the harbor bulkhead. All the damage to the harbor infrastructure was repaired by Saturday afternoon. Many boaters in the harbor to participate in the Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament experienced damage to swim platforms, scraped hulls, and twisted rails.
In Vineyard Haven Harbor, three boats were ashore Friday morning, though none were severely damaged, according to Harbormaster Jay Wilbur.
The National Weather Service issued a small craft advisory early Thursday, July 23. At 4 pm, the agency issued a gale warning, advising marine interests that winds could reach 34 to 47 knots (39 to 54 miles per hour) during the early morning hours of Friday, July 24.