The Calgary police boat will be spending a lot less time out on the city's rivers this summer.


Calgary police say officers will have more time to address crimes on city streets by not patrolling local rivers. (CBC)

Patrolling the waterways will be left to the fire department, which plays a key role in ensuring people are safe on and along waterways.

During summer in Calgary, the Bow or Elbow rivers can get quite busy with people looking to beat the heat by floating downstream on rafts.

Bylaw officers — who can issue tickets for open alcohol and to people not wearing life jackets — will still have a presence on Calgary waterways and officials say they can contact police if in need of help.

Deputy Chief Trevor Daroux says not having officers patrolling the rivers means they are available for other duties if needed.

He says it's not necessary for the police boat to always be out.

"Our question is: is there a better ways to do things?" Daroux asked. 

"The fire continually has the boats on the water and focus on safety and rescue initiatives and we're looking at can we work better with our partners too by working along the bank of the river, and so that's what we're going to be looking at as we move forward into the new year."

Daroux says if officers need to get to a spot only accessible by boat, they can always catch a ride with the fire department.