Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department Prepare Torch Lake Patrols

A popular Northern Michigan lake is getting ready for another busy season.

But recent changes have law enforcement already patrolling the lake.

The weather has people from all over coming to Northern Michigan.

Whether they’re getting out on the water, or visiting local businesses, our towns are busy.

Torch Lake is no exception.

And with the crowds comes extra patrols.

In an effort to control the crowds and keep things safe, a local organization filed a lawsuit against party promoters.

They won, and hope things will be calmer this summer.

But police say they’re still expecting large crowds every weekend.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Harrison Light talked to police and boaters about hitting the water this weekend.

While it may not be a holiday weekend, this weather is bringing people out to Torch Lake.

The Kalkaska Sheriff says they won’t see numbers as high as Fourth of July, but they’ll still be out patrolling.

“We don’t get a break during the summer. It’s got to be monitored all the time by an officer and the sheriff’s department,” says Kalkaska County Sheriff Patrick Whiteford.

School’s out, summer is here and this weekend has the perfect forecast.

Which means hundreds will be hitting the water – especially Torch Lake.

“We still maintain marine patrol. Obviously in the Torch Lake area, and we do that primarily in the busy times of boating season, whether it’s a weekend or week day,” says Sheriff Whiteford.

While crowds won’t be near the size of Fourth of July weekend, Sheriff Whiteford says water safety is still their top priority.

“Whether it’s just a simple mistake people make, or having mechanical problems with their boat, it’s nice to have officers out there and available to give assistance where needed,” says Sheriff Whiteford.

Families come from all over to enjoy Torch Lake.

Brianna Verdoodt says this is their first time visiting, and knowing there’s a law enforcement presence on the lake makers her feel safer.

“It’s beautiful outside and we’ve heard all this awesome stuff about Torch Lake and we wanted to just come check it out,” Verdoodt says. “Boating is never a thing that I’m concerned about, things we do, it’s the other people out on the lake. So of law enforcement are out to help take care of that for us, I think it’s an amazing thing.”

Sheriff Whiteford says having their presence out on the water during these weekends really helps them prepare for Fourth of July.