|State Launches Security Vessel|
By Mary Ellen Slayter
Capital News Service
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005
A new patrol boat, commissioned the Chesapeake, joined the Department of
Natural Resources' fleet Tuesday.
Natural Resources Police officials said the 45-foot vessel has a fully
armored pilot house and will be used for homeland security duties, such as
protecting the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, in addition to
the law enforcement agency's traditional mission of promoting conservation
and enforcing boating laws.
At a brief commissioning ceremony at the City Dock in Annapolis, Gov.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said the Natural Resources Police have become an
essential part of the state's strategy to protect its infrastructure since
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Homeland security has become an important part of the agency's mission,
but it is difficult to say just how much of DNR's budget and manpower that
work now consumes, said Kathy Lantz, director of administrative services for
"In all of our activities, there's a measure of homeland security,"
Lantz said the newly commissioned boat cost the agency about $540,000,
all of which was paid for by the state.
The 16-ton Chesapeake, built by SeaArk, is powered by twin 490 horsepower
diesel engines and can reach speeds over 30 knots.
The Chesapeake will be stationed at Solomons and joins a Maryland Natural
Resources Police fleet of about 100 small and large patrol vessels.
University of Maryland
Philip Merrill College of
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