Law enforcement gears up for Memorial Day weekend
By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
People across the country will be spending this weekend with family and friends celebrating Memorial Day and the unofficial start of the summer season.
As with any big holiday weekend, law enforcement expects to see an increase in crime, especially alcohol related incidents, during the Memorial Day weekend.
The Starkville Police Department will be taking extra precautions in the city, as they expect larger crowds than are typical during the summer months.
"We do expect a higher number of people than when school is normally out of session. We'll have a lot of extra traffic with people going out to the lake or to barbecues," Sgt. Shawn Word said. "We will have extra personnel out doing 'Click It or Ticket' and DUI enforcement."
The Starkville Police Department is working with the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies to enforce seat belt laws through the 'Click It or Ticket' campaign. They will have officers out on patrol and at checkpoints to ensure motorists are being responsible this weekend.
"We would just like to remind people to please buckle up and don't drink and drive," Word said.
The Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office also expects to see an increase in drinking and driving.
"We will be setting up sporadic check points throughout the county," Chief Deputy George Carrithers said. "If people are going to drink, we want them to stay at home. They're not only endangering themselves, but they're a danger to others when they're out on the road."
The Mississippi Highway Patrol will have extra officers on the road as well.
"We're out there to assist in case of an accident or if a vehicle needs help. We're not just out there to write tickets," Highway Patrol spokesman Brian Mobley said. "We'll also be paying special attention to the seat belt laws, since we are participating in 'Click It or Ticket.' And of course, on holiday weekends we pay extra attention to impaired drivers."
The Highway Patrol will set up DUI checkpoints throughout the district over the weekend.
"We could be any place, any time," Mobley said. "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you won't have anything to worry about."