Peace Officers On Cruise Ships?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 10, 2008
Democrat Joe Simitian says he came up with the bill to address what he sees as a significant problem: “We read story after story about people who are victims of violence – in some cases sexual assault – once they’re on board. I mean, once you step on a cruise ship you’re living in a lawless society.” Simitian’s legislation would create the “Ocean Ranger” program. He says every cruise ship in the state’s waters would have at least one ranger on board to watch out for public safety, illegal dumping and homeland security concerns: “We’ve got air marshals on planes with just a couple of hundred passengers but we’ve got ships with ten times that many passengers and no official law enforcement presence on board. I don’t think that makes a whole lot of sense quite frankly.” He says the program would be funded by a dollar a day charge per passenger. Critics say that cost would be passed along to customers – and note that cruise lines already have their own security forces.