Extra police units on the road today
Columbus, Muscogee, Georgia officers will set up roadblocks




If ever there was a time to use your turn signal, today is it.

Three agencies are teaming up this weekend for a traffic enforcement operation, said Muscogee County Sheriff's Maj. Joe McCrea. The sheriff's office, Columbus Police Department and Georgia State Patrol will have an additional 48 units on the road performing roadblocks, catching speeders with radar and stopping drivers under the influence.

"It's kind of two-fold," McCrea said Friday of the operation. "We want to address citizen's concerns about everything from speeding to DUIs, and also with school starting back Monday, it's good to get people's attention back on traffic."

The increased traffic enforcement will last from

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Drivers should expect officers at checkpoints looking for seat belt violations, suspended driver's licenses and other infractions.

"An expired tag is certainly something that will get you a citation."

McCrea said officers will most likely stop all vehicles at the checkpoints. They'll switch to every third car or fifth car only if traffic starts to back up.

Concentrated patrols -- groups of law enforcement units -- will be using radar to catch speeders and writing tickets. Drivers can expect checkpoints and officers with radar equipment across Columbus.

"Pay attention to the traffic laws," McCrea said. "Don't drink and drive -- it would be prudent to have a designated driver."

Out of the 48 additional units on the road, 24 of them will be state troopers. Ten of those will focus on DUIs from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday.

McCrea said drivers should also expect to see Sheriff's Office and Columbus Police cars in school zones next week.

Today's operation is the first time the three agencies have joined forces to enforce traffic laws, McCrea said, though he'd like to see the increased enforcement happen more often.

While the operation isn't the result of the perceived increase in crime, McCrea said it could have an impact.

"With a domestic incident, it's not going to matter how many people you have on the streets," McCrea said. "But we hope to reduce crimes of opportunity."
Contact Alan Riquelmy at 706-571-8622