Low Lake Levels Linked to Increase in Crime

By Courtney Burris | cburris@krbc.tvg

Published 03/07 2014 05:42PM

Updated 03/07 2014 06:19PM

Lake Fort Phantom Hill is typically "just a family friendly environment with a lot of people, people on boats, people skiing, people in some of the different coves fishing." according to Chief Marshal, Monty Huddleston.

That is the Lake Fort Phantom Hill that many love to enjoy, but with the current drought conditions, many Lake Patrol officers are hoping for rain.

Lake Patrol officer, Clu Burnham, has been working as a patrol officer for eight years now and says that he has not seen the lake this low since he began his patrol job.

Lake Fort Phantom Hill is currently around thirteen feet below the spillway and the city is under stage one of water restrictions. Stage two of water restrictions typically begin when the lake is seventeen feet below the spillway.

For Lake Patrol officers, a low lake means much more than watering their lawns less. Officer Burnham explains that they begin to see more crime when the lake is six to eight feet low, "but when it gets to ten, it gets really bad".

When the lake bed is low, it gives people more space to do bad things. "They have bonfires, they burn all kinds of lumber and leave nails, it just makes our job a whole lot harder". Says officer Burnham

He spends time each day checking the most common hiding places and picking up after those who leave things behind.

Chief Marshal Huddleston says that when the lake is low, they write more tickets for illegal burning and dumping, as well as respond to many more loud noise complaints.

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