Traffic patrols will get heavier
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Dec 23, 2013 | 1152 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Capt. W.G. Campbell announced plans to increase patrols throughout the county this week to deter serious injuries and fatal crashes.

An effort to curb criminal activity in neighborhoods is also on the agenda, according to Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth.

Campbell, who supervises the traffic unit, said the effort encompasses traffic unit personnel as well as the entire patrol division. Some deputies will be compensated for overtime hours by a state grant the Sheriff’s Office was awarded for the enforcement initiative.

“Bradley County has the opportunity to end the year with the fewest number of traffic fatalities in more than 20 years, if we can get everyone to be careful and obey traffic laws,” Campbell said. “Last year we lost 24 people in traffic crashes. As we head into the last weekend before Christmas the fatality count for this year stands at seven.”

Statistics going back to 1994 show Bradley County recorded 10 fatalities in the years 1995, 1999 and 2005. Those years reflect the lowest number of roadway deaths during the period.

Campbell said that deputies will saturate the county, targeting aggressive and reckless driving, speeding and impaired driving.

Distracted driving is another factor in many serious vehicle crashes that will be a part of the enforcement initiative, Campbell noted.

Charleston Police Department officials also plan to take part in the operations of heavier traffic enforcement as well as residential saturation patrols.

Detectives have been working on a number of car burglary and residential burglaries and thefts.

“We will be out in force during the holiday in a crime prevention effort,” said Ruth.

Officials will be using the Special Operations team, Traffic Units for traffic enforcement as well as residential saturation, Criminal Investigations Division detectives and administrative staff. Officials have also enhanced Patrol Division operations during the holiday in an effort to keep criminal activity down.

On the Interstate 75 system in Bradley County, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will have travel lanes open and no construction will be underway beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday and ending Jan. 2, according to officials.

“Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction-related closures will be suspended during the holiday period. Workers may still be on site in some construction zones,” a news release noted.