Officers to up patrol for New Year’s weekend

Published 4:03 pm Friday, December 29, 2017


With the new year rolling into town with its many festivities and a potential wintry mix on its tail, law enforcement is prepping to keep Chilton County roads and residents as safe as possible.

“We’ll have our normal patrol units out patrolling what they can, but we’ll also have, thanks to the ADECA grant, we’ll have extra people out trying to deal with drunk drivers, speeders … sobriety checkpoints, stuff like that,” Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon said. “Just to make sure we keep the roads as safe as we can.”

Shearon said it is hard to know what to expect from the weather at this point, but that safety patrol measures are taking into consideration possible ice and wet snow.

“Slow down, because they’re talking about possibly inclement weather,” Shearon said. “Slow down and just don’t outdrive the conditions… Just slow down and be mindful of it.”
Shearon advises partygoers who plan on drinking to have designated drivers.

State troopers of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are prepared with a routine, annual “New Year’s Eve Blitz Plan,” according to Senior Trooper Chad Nalls.

“That usually consists of an entire weekend where we’ll have extra patrol out — we might assign troopers to certain roadways that are more heavily traveled than others,” Nalls said.

“We stress an emphasis on watching out for impaired drivers and be very proactive about that,” he said.

According to an ALEA press release, through Jan. 1, troopers will “heighten enforcement.”

“Please obey speed limits, insist everyone in the vehicle buckle up and/or use child-restraint systems, avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs, avoid driving while texting and distracted in other ways, and avoid following too closely,” the release read. “These driving behaviors are among the most deadly.”

According to Cpl. Jesse Thornton of ALEA, “Alabama State Troopers have already investigated over 590 traffic fatalities in 2017. Unfortunately, that number will be around 600 by the end of 2017.”

Troopers hope a greater presence on major roadways will help ensure safety for travelers during the holiday season.

“Happy New Year to everybody, and everybody be safe,” Shearon said. “Make it home alive.”