Police checkpoints net tickets, arrests, ‘good job’ coupons

More than 40 officers from 11 area law enforcement agencies worked together and conducted traffic checkpoints in nine locations around Shawnee and Pottawatomie County Saturday.
And while some motorists were ticketed for various violations, most were wearing seat belts and had proper tags and insurance, while some received “coupons” from Shawnee police for doing everything right.
During all the checkpoints, officers checked a total of 1,265 vehicles, resulting in 155 citations being issued.
One Shawnee woman with two children who were properly restrained went through the checkpoints and was rewarded for doing everything right thanks to a local business.
Marta Land, owner of House of Flowers, gave Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz several coupons from her business offering a free gift. She intended for them to be used in positive way to honor people “caught doing something good.”
The coupons offer a free gift of flowers from her shop.
Late Saturday, that driver stopped at her shop on North Kickapoo with one of those coupons. Land said she had just closed, but opened the doors for the excited motorist.
The woman told Land she always buckles her two children. The officer, who took notice of her having everything in order and her children buckled, passed along one of the coupons before she left the checkpoint.
“She was so excited…and so happy to be recognized,” said Land, who is a supporter of the police department. “And I was so excited that she had her kids buckled up.”
As a business owner, Land said the coupons were intended to provide that positive reinforcement from police.
“The police department needs all the tools they can use — businesses should be supporting them,” Land said.
Frantz said he appreciates Land’s coupons and gave them to officers for the checkpoints, with an intention of rewarding those who were buckled up and had their children buckled up, which is teaching children a good habit at a young age.
“It was nice to see most people are wearing their seat belts…we’re trying to educate and raise traffic awareness,” Frantz said.
Officers were glad to report very few seat belt violations were issued; there were two for adults and two for no child restraints.
More than 50 citations were given for lack of vehicle insurance, while 20 were ticketed for driver license violations and 20 more for tag violations.
One aggravated DUI arrest was made, and at the last check point near McLoud, police arrested a convicted murder for possession of a firearm.
There were a total of five misdemeanor arrests ranging from warrants to one juvenile who was issued a citation for possession of tobacco.
Frantz also was pleased with the collaborative efforts of law enforcement officers.
“We had a good turnout from law enforcement — we had more officers and agencies come together on this,” he said.
The unique, countywide effort was planned to help curtail traffic crashes and fatalities in the area, as officers looked for seat belt usage, driver licenses, impaired drivers and unsafe vehicles.
Agencies taking part included the Shawnee Police Department, Tecumseh Police Department, McLoud Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Maud police, Asher police, Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Absentee Shawnee tribal police, along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.