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Volunteers to report quarry trespassing

Fredericksburg city police have suspended overtime details to patrol the quarry west of Interstate 95 where a drowning occurred Monday evening.

Instead, police will rely on volunteers to report trespassing incidents so on-duty officers can respond.

Overtime patrols had been initiated in response to the death of Anthony Mandel Johnson Jr., 18, of Triangle, who drowned in the popular, but posted, quarry near the Rappahannock River.

City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said in an email that police will not have overtime details for the quarry over the next week because volunteers will be monitoring for trespassers. The property is owned by Rappahannock Quarry West LLC, according to city records.

Bill Micks, an owner of the Virginia Outdoor Center, is one volunteer who is making an effort to report trespassers when he sees them.

Those who have permission to use the quarry regularly have been asked to keep a closer eye out for swimmers and fishers entering the waters illegally.

However, there is no organized group of volunteers monitoring the area, Micks said.

“The owners of the quarry have asked people who use the quarry for the right reasons to be more vigilant [in reporting trespassers] for the next seven days,” Micks said.

Reporting trespassers is something that authorized patrons of the quarry usually do, but they cannot be there all day and night, he said.

Fire and rescue dive teams and certified scuba instructors are among those permitted to use the quarry legally.

For certified instructors and rescue squads to use the site to practice diving, they must obtain permission and special insurance, Micks said.

No-trespassing signs are displayed in English and Spanish, warning residents to stay out of the water or risk a citation, a fine or even an arrest.

City police have not reported any arrests for trespassing in the quarry since Monday’s drowning, but four people were arrested the previous week.

Katie Shepherd 540/374-5417