Report A Crime
Our Organization
Our Response Areas
For Your Safety
Our Newsroom
Print this PageSite Feedback
Lake Unit

Serving Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake
Our Lakes Enforcement Unit was developed in the early 1980's in response to rapid development and increased recreational use of the three lakes that border Western Mecklenburg County.

Our Lakes Enforcement Unit was developed in the early 1980's in response to rapid development and increased recreational use of the three lakes that border Western Mecklenburg County.


These manmade lakes, Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake, are part of the Catawba chain of lakes developed by Duke Power Company between 1904 and 1963 for the purpose of producing power for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and the surrounding metropolitan areas.

They have a combined surface area of over 48,000 acres and total over 900 miles of shoreline. This is more than the North and South Carolina coasts combined!

The primary patrol boats currently assigned to the lakes are custom-built 22-foot Sea Ark enclosed cabin type boats. They are fully equipped with the latest in navigation and communication electronics for year round emergency response in almost any weather conditions. The unit also utilizes several smaller trailer able boats that can be easily deployed on any of the lakes, as they may be needed, including several Wave Runners provided through the Yamaha Law Loan Program. These small and versatile craft are used for special events such as the annual triathlon on Mountain Island Lake and the Latta Launch Canoe Kayak Race. They are also used for directed patrols of high traffic areas such as marinas and waterfront parks.

Officers of the Lakes Enforcement Unit receive specialized training in Marine Law Enforcement tactics and North Carolina Boating laws, as well as Boating Skills and Seamanship, and Water Safety. Members of the unit actively patrol state waters in their jurisdiction for safety and registration violations, as well as responding to calls for service that are water accessible.

Full time officers are also state certified Emergency Medical Technicians/ Defibrillator Technicians and are responsible for providing Emergency Medical Response for any medical emergencies that occur on the water. This added EMS responsibility is unique to this unit.

The Lake Patrol also participates in yearly Nuclear Regulatory Commission training and testing for lake evacuation in the event of a nuclear emergency, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg is currently designated as the lead agency in the Nuclear Emergency Contingency Plan.

The Lakes Enforcement Unit is also currently a part of the counties Swift Water Rescue Plan, training with selected members of the Charlotte Fire Dept. to provide professional response to any swift water emergencies that may occur in the areas creeks and rivers, making this one of the most versatile and well trained units in the state.

The Lakes Enforcement Division of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, is a year-round, full time enforcement division. Lakes Enforcement Officers are charged with the responsibility of boater safety, education, and enforcement of the Navigational Laws of the State of North Carolina, as well as local ordinances and Federal Laws that apply to these inland waters. All Officers are EMT certified and the unit is equipped with a defibrillator and all emergency support equipment. Officers use the latest in technology to serve the lake community and respond to all medical emergencies on the water, providing an advanced level of care.

This page has been designed so that the Lakes Enforcement Division can share Lake Related information with the boating public, and so the public can submit questions and information to the Police Department. By using our EMAIL address and the links to the address, you can ask questions and receive responses on Lake Related matters. We encourage you to browse this page often as it is updated monthly, and to interact with us through this format.