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Jackson County brings back its life jacket loan program to promote lake safety

 Life Jacket Safety Program station in Jackson County with a sign and 4 life jackets next to a lake
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is bringing back its Life Jacket Safety Program for a second year.

Free life jackets are now available to borrow at several lakes in the county. It’s part of an effort to prevent drownings.

Loan stations are located at seven out of 11 of the county’s public access lakes, up from three last year.

Gary Schuette is the Jackson County Sheriff. He says his office did not see any theft of life jackets last summer.

"People aren’t just taking them. They’re doing the right thing, and they’re very community-minded," he said.

He says there was only one incident where a life jacket was taken off the park property, but the department believes it was an oversight because the jacket was returned.

"The feedback has been outstanding from the community," Schuette said. "In fact, we’ve had community members donate their life vests and actually put additional life vests up on our boards.”

The stations will be up through Labor Day.

Schuette hopes the initiative will expand to all public lakes in the county in the coming years.

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