SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) says enforcement efforts at a Schramm Park, where 8-year-old Tarie Price went missing, are being increased.
The office wants people to enjoy the area and the number of outdoor activities it has to offer but it wants people to do so safely.
“We want people to get outside, and we want them to enjoy themselves. But safety has to be the first consideration, and we aren’t seeing that right now from some individuals at Schramm Park,” said Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis.
The SCSO cites a number of violations which led up to the decision including:
- One drowning
- Numerous near-drownings
- Under-age drinking
- Large crowds
- Vehicles parked in and along the roadway
With the aid of the Nebraska State Patrol and the Game and Parks Association, the SCSO plans on carrying out strict enforcement at the park.
“Following these laws may mean the difference between life and death, so we’re taking a zero-tolerance approach. Violations will result in citations, arrests and towed vehicles,” Sheriff Davis said.
The SCSO provided the following safety precautions for those "in or around the river":
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket any time you are in the water.
- Never swim when you are intoxicated.
- Never swim alone.
- Provide direct supervision when children are in or near the water.
- Be prepared for rapidly changing water conditions.
- Know how to call for help.
Rivers can pose a number of dangers which people need to look out and prepare for, said Jeff Clauson, Law Enforcement Assistant Division Administrator for Nebraska Game and Parks.
"The safety of the public is our top priority. Rivers naturally attract visitors, but they can be dangerous due to swift currents, unpredictable depth changes and debris hiding under the surface," he said. “People need to be extremely careful. First and foremost, wear a life jacket.”