Updated: 05/24/2014 10:25 AM
Created: 05/23/2014 8:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson
In the land of 10,000 lakes you can bet just as many people will head to one this weekend.
It takes a lot of work to keep everyone safe. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol only has so many deputies to cover the 22 square miles of Lake Minnetonka.
So this weekend they will get some needed assistance from their special deputies. They are civilians who support deputies year round.
Their training is a 10 week reserve school where they learn basic emergency care, use of force to radio communications.
Deputy Joe Martin says the opportunity is fulfilling.
“You can come out step into a boat like this. You and your partner will work together and you can go out and help people, educate people,” Martin said.
Making sure county waterways are safe is a tough task. So in fall of 1955 Sheriff Ed Ryan swore-in 31 volunteers as special deputies.
They were called the sheriff's navy. Four years later they officially became the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol.
Special deputies have worked side by side assisting them for the past 59 years.