Police will be in force for holidayPublished 12:05am Wednesday, July 4, 2012
By KRISTIN HOGANS
The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — The Fourth of July holiday brings fireworks, family fun and extra police patrols.
Officials said extra law enforcement agents would be monitoring the areas, making sure everyone is staying safe and following the law.
Natchez Police Department Sgt. Shawn P. King said many Fourth of July accidents are alcohol related, prompting NPD to be on the lookout for drunk drivers.
“We will have extra patrols throughout the weekend, but it could be longer,” King said.
The Mississippi High Patrol will have an additional 80 troopers on the roads for the July 4 holiday.
“We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst,” said Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd, of the Public Affairs Office district 9.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has also funded additional patrols for the holiday, said Sgt. James Anderson with the Louisiana State Police Department. He said enforcement started Tuesday and will continue until Sunday.
Anderson said in 2010 there were 392 motor vehicle accidents, and 39 percent of the crashes involved one or more individuals with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
“Many people celebrate (the holiday) by drinking, and we don’t want them to get behind a vehicle and drive,” Anderson said.
In Vidalia there will be traffic and DWI patrols, Assistant Police Chief Bruce Wiley said.
Maj. Debbie Gee of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said the office would not be increasing patrols, but that deputies on duty would be on the lookout.
Capt. David Hedrick of the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office said there would be extra patrols throughout the entire parish. He also urged those planning to be in the lakes to be very careful, stay out of wake zones and respect other boaters and property owners.