Lauderdale County, Miss. Over the past few weeks, and over any holiday for that matter, you probably notice an increase in the number of police officers, sheriff's deputies, and state troopers out on the roads. Lauderdale County Deputy Andy Matuszewski says the weekend has been successful.
"There's been a lot of enforcement action that's taken place. I've seen from the citations that have been turned in that there have been quite a number of violations, and several arrests over the weekend that I'm aware of."
Matuszewski says he usually hears comments from citizens angry that they're doing traffic enforcement instead of trying to catch the burglars and robbers, but he says most of those types of criminals are actually picked up at traffic stops.
"I'm quick to explain that by virtue of these state funds coming back to our area, and the only thing they ask is that we work a little traffic, that it gives us the opportunity to put more boots on the ground, more guys on the street, and more eyes looking for these very same criminals."
The increased patrols and safety checkpoints not only help keep the roads safe, but get the officers more involved with the public.
"I can think of numerous times over the years that I, myself personally have been personally involved with stops that have happened during these types of checkpoints where we were able to arrest wanted felons and people who had just committed crimes. It's a great benefit to our local citizenry and voting public that we're able to get out into the community and do some extra patrols and some extra enforcement work because criminals have to move just like we do."
Official traffic statistics for the Labor Day weekend should be available later this week.