Police, troopers to beef up New Year’s patrols

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As revelers enjoy bringing in the new year, area law enforcement officers and state troopers are encouraging everyone not to drink and drive and to plan ahead with designated drivers.

Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said a full crew of officers will be working the evening and midnight shift, and he’ll also be working patrols as they watch for those driving under the influence.  While people ringing in the new year can have fun, Frantz suggests they have a designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safely to enjoy 2011.

Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies also are urging people to slow down and buckle up. Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said deputies will be patrolling the rural county roads as well. “Have a safe and happy new year but please use a designated driver,” Palmer said.

Tecumseh Police Chief Gary Crosby said his department also will “beef up” patrols, with a “no tolerance” policy for drunk drivers.  State troopers also will be doing everything possible to keep the roads safe this holiday weekend.

“Troopers patrolling Oklahoma’s roads throughout the holiday weekend will continue to enforce the no tolerance policy for those who choose to drink and drive as well as for those who choose not to wear their safety belts,” said Capt. Chris West, Department of Public Safety, spokesperson.
“There are many transportation options for people who choose to celebrate by consuming alcohol this weekend; getting behind the wheel is the worst,” he said. “Drinking and driving is irresponsible and won’t be tolerated.”  West said troopers also hope the trend they’re seeing on the decreasing numbers of traffic fatalities for the year continues.

“There’s a real possibility that we’ll have more than one hundred fewer traffic deaths than last year, coupled with a 10 year low, and that’s some really good news,” he said.