Law enforcement officials are calling the Water Follies a successful weekend after a low number of reported arrests and few collisions across the Tri-Cities.
Out of the approximately 1,300 contacts police had with people in Columbia Park during the 50th anniversary weekend, only a handful resulted in arrests for DUI, trespassing and alcohol violations.
Officers, deputies and troopers from Kennewick, Richland, West Richland and Benton County patrolled the park.
“From a safety and security (standpoint), it was a very successful year,” said Kennewick Sgt. Ken Lattin in a news release.
A total of 11 people were arrested by law enforcement in the park, with more than half of those arrests stemming from a case involving a stolen golf cart.
Police say six men took the unattended golf cart for a short joy ride through the park. Officers quickly stopped the cart and arrested the men.
A person was also arrested in 2014 for stealing a golf cart.
The number of arrests this year on the Benton County side of the river was less than half of the 23 people arrested in the park in 2014. Police reported contacting about 1,300 people in 2014 as well.
Authorities in Pasco reported no arrests or tickets issued along the Franklin County side of the river.
Jail records show five people were arrested in the county for DUI over the weekend.
“It was a good crowd,” Roske said. “It went off very, very good. Of course we have had this type of family crowd (for years) now.”
Troopers with the Washington State Patrol canvassing highways around the Tri-Cities arrested 17 people for driving under the influence, said Lt. Tom Foster. Foster noted the number of DUI arrests was higher than normal.
A special DUI team was in the area to help with patrols for the weekend. There were also handful of arrests during traffic stops.
“We did get some people off the road who needed to be taken off the road,” Foster said.
A plane was flying south of Kennewick helping troopers spot drivers who were speeding and driving recklessly, Foster said. The plane helped troopers make a number of traffic stops.
Foster was pleased with the small number of crashes over the weekend, including only one crash that troopers responded to on Saturday, he said.
“To have that happen on Water Follies weekend, with all the traffic we had in area and all out of town traffic we had in the area, is tremendous,” Foster said.