Safe holiday law enforcement’s goal

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 23, 2004

From higher visibility in shopping areas to increased patrols onroads and highways, area law enforcement officials are working tomake the holidays are a safe and sound occasion for all.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said foot patrols byofficers, which the department conducts annually during theholidays, is in full swing.

“We implemented that about two weeks ago,” Henderson said. “It’sbeen very visible.”

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The chief said the department has also beefed up its patrols ofresidential areas. He anticipated the downtown foot patrol activityto continue through the holiday period.

“All of our businesses and shopping areas, we’re monitoringthose,” Henderson said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Wiley Calcote was planning similaractivities for the county’s roadways.

“We’ll have extra patrol all over the county,” Calcote said.

The sheriff said deputies will be on standby to respond to anyemergencies when needed.

“We’re going to really have patrols beefed up to prevent anyaccidents we can,” Calcote said.

Staff Sgt. Rod Crawford, public affairs officer for the DistrictNine of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, said the state agency hadreceived a $27,000 grant for holiday patrols. The funds will coverthe costs of 75 troopers working one shift on an off-day during theholidays.

“Also, it is customary for the Highway Patrol to cancel traveldays surrounding each holiday,” Crawford said.

Crawford said that means vacation days have been canceled andtroopers’ compensatory time may not be taken on the Friday beforeor Sunday following the Christmas holiday on Saturday.

“That’s putting the Highway Patrol in operation with a fullcomplement of its personnel in the enforcement division,” Crawfordsaid.

Henderson and Calcote said they hoped everyone has a merryChristmas and a safe and happy holiday. Henderson said revelersshould get a designated driver if needed, and Calcote warned peopleto not drink and drive.

“We’re going to be out and looking for them,” Calcote said.

Local law enforcement officials said they will be available toprovide public assistance when needed, but added that all trafficlaws will be enforced as well.

“Any way we can help, we want to do that,” Henderson said. “Weintend to work with people, but we expect people to respect the lawand not go overboard.”