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City police to pay overtime for quarry patrols

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City police are deploying overtime details to patrol the Fredericksburg Quarry following a drowning there earlier this week.

Police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said overtime details are built into the police budget every year so the department can focus resources on hot spots for crime and other areas of concern.

“We’re not taking money away from something else,” Bledsoe said.

These patrols are neither unusual nor infrequent, Bledsoe said. Officers often take overtime hours to patrol “any time we see problems or a spike in incidents,” she added.

The police budget allocated $163,200 for overtime details in the 2014 fiscal year. For the 2015 fiscal year, police have a similar $160,000 to work with.

The added attention to the quarry follows the drowning Monday of Anthony Mandel Johnson Jr., 18, of Triangle, who was in the water with friends.

The quarry is located on private property just west of the Interstate 95 bridge along the Rappahannock River, and “No Trespassing” signs are posted.

The quarry is not the only place where overtime details are deployed. At the moment, some officers are also patrolling to address the increase in vehicle break-ins over the past few weeks, Bledsoe said.

“Part of our mission is to protect the private property of our citizens, whether that is an item or real property like a vehicle,” Bledsoe said.

Police often patrol private property to fulfill that mission because officers are responsible for enforcing the law wherever crime occurs, she said.

“A majority of crime happens on private property,” Bledsoe said.

Katie Shepherd 540/374-5417