citations as “putting
on the black hat.”
But not everyone
gets a ticket. The
decision to be good
cop or bad cop is
Often, an offender
gets off with a warn-ing.
he’s addressed this
issue before with the
same person, and
therefore, a citation
is necessary. Alcohol
and trash offenses
are less likely to be
“I’ve basically seen
about everything,” he says. “It’s a recreational beach, people come from all over. It’s the
first beach you hit off I-40 so it really brings in a vast type of people and with that I’ve
seen it all.”
He doesn’t disclose too much about what he’s seen, but one can only imagine given
the sand-kissed barefoot freedom that comes with the beach when the weather is warm.
When there’s glistening water on a hot summer day as far as the eye can see, and high
salt content in the air, it makes you forget rules are rules or there are even any ordinances
to follow in the first place.
For successes, he notes the alcohol ordinance that passed years ago after a particularly
crazy July Fourth that left the beach absolutely trashed.
“Tightening up out here with alcohol consumption has led to dividends as far as trash
on the beach, next to people’s houses and on the street,” he says. “I’m pretty proud of it.”
While he says he’s seen it all in terms of humans, some of his most memorable and
humorous stories come from the vast amount of wildlife found on or near Wrightsville
He’s received a flustered call about a 14-foot alligator, which turned out to be a
manatee. He’s coordinated the rescue of a trapped coyote from under a dock at Seapath
Marina. He’s seen a beaver swim to shore from Johnnie Mercer’s, and even a few deer
these past few years.
“They must have swum over from Landfall; deer do swim, contrary to belief,” he says.
While many residents are still enjoying the free parking and quiet stretches of sand and
water that this time of year offers, Slocum’s preparation for the summer has long begun.
But for now, he cruises along in the silence and solitude with the never-ending horizon of
ocean and waves. This is his office, and it’s easy to see why he’s never grown tired of it.
He’s not the good cop or bad cop, just the guardian of the beach looking out for its
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