More traffic enforcement planned
By John Pirro
Article Last Updated: 10/16/2008 11:32:55 PM EDT
DANBURY-- Police plan to continue their recent practice of periodically deploying additional officers in the downtown area as part of a stepped-up campaign to enforce traffic laws, officials said.
The last time the officers were out, on Oct. 9, they issued 23 infraction tickets and had nine cars towed, department spokesman Capt. Robert Myles said.
"It accomplishes several goals," Myles said. "We will do it when manpower and circumstances permit."
Six officers, including a sergeant, are assigned to the detail, which operates between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. at various downtown locations. The time period overlaps the 4 p.m. to midnight and midnight to 8 a.m. shifts, and the officers, who are paid overtime, are a supplement to those normally assigned to work those shifts.
The detail has been on the streets three times in the past four weeks, and current plans are for the once a week operations to continue intermittently, Mayor Mark Boughton said.
"It seems to work best when it's intermittent, and when we move them around to different spots," Boughton said. Weekend coverage will be emphasized, so the detail may work anytime between Thursdays and Sundays, he said.
The enforcement effort is similar to one police conducted last year, following a brawl at an Ives Street nightspot that injured several officers.
For the following five months, additional officers were assigned to crowd control in the downtown entertainment district on Thursday
nights, keeping order when the bars closed. For the first several hours of the shift, they were assigned to traffic duty. Overtime costs at that time were pegged at about $2,100 each night the extra officers worked.
The program was eventually discontinued, according to Chief Al Baker, because people looking to cause trouble knew extra police were on duty, so they stopped coming into town Thursday nights.
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