Has Law-Enforcement Presence Along Spring River Solved Problems?

September 1, 2007 - Posted at 8:02 p.m. CDT

FULTON COUNTY-As the summer comes to a close, trouble in the waters of the Spring River seem to be subsiding as well.

"There is a definite difference this summer. This is the first summer I can remember in several years, where on Saturdays we've had church and youth groups come up. It's been a definite plus for the business. I feel they've made great strides in getting the river where it is more family oriented again," said campground employee Lindy Greene.

That's because all summer - The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, along with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, has been patrolling the waters and banks to keep lewd behavior at a minimum.

"It's a combination of alcohol, of rude type behavior, and quite a bit of nudity. We feel like all of it has decreased to a certain amount," said Lt. Steve Taylor with Arkansas Game and Fish.

Since our initial visit to the Spring River on Memorial Day weekend, people say the presence of law-enforcement has led to a much more family friendly environment.

"There's a lot more families coming, youth groups, church groups. It's just a positive response from the public," said Jeanette Frey.

That positive response that can be attributed to dozens of officers working their weekends and holidays to keep the Spring River a vacation hot spot.

"For the most part everyone has realized they are here, and here for a good reason. Now everyone can enjoy the river, not just a few. It's made a positive influence on everyone on the river I think," said Greene.

We are told while the problems have gotten better, there is still a ways to go before things will be perfect.

It's the hopes of those patrolling the waterways that this--last holiday of the summer--is one that's free of any disturbances.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.