Law enforcement will be out in stronger numbers this weekend as part of a Special Traffic Enforcement Program. Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Bigaouette tells KNIA/KRLS News the program is a grant that provides funding for things such as equipment, car cameras, preliminary breath test equipment, and overtime hours. Those overtime hours allow officers to do much more traffic enforcement.
Bigaouette says that St. Patrick’s Day is one of a few weekends law enforcement is out in stronger numbers due to the program. He says they also go out during the winter holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, as well as the summer holidays – Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July.
Bigaouette adds that they aren’t out there to get people on a weekend like this; they simply want to ensure the safety of the general public. Points of emphasis during these enforcement weekends include OWIs, speeding, seat belts, and texting while driving, among others.
This weekend the Pella Police Department will be participating in the STEP program as well. According to Lieutenant Paul Haase, the state will help fund extra time for officers on the street over the holiday weekend. Lieutenant Haase encourages everyone celebrating the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday to plan ahead, and use designated drivers.