Law Enforcement Adds Ranks For Holiday [AUDIO]
As a safety measure, law enforcement agencies will combine to provide an extra presence during Memorial Day weekend. In a press conference Tuesday, Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh said that 15 extra law enforcement officers will be added.
Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh:
"This weekend, over Memorial Day weekend, there's going to be a joint effort through five different law enforcement agencies in Natrona County to make sure the holiday is a safe one, and our goal is that it's a safe holiday for everyone. It's the kickoff for summer, and often times people tend to drink too much during that time, then get into vehicle accidents, and they're intensified with alcohol."
Chief Walsh said the extra patrols might be anywhere in Natrona County, with applied concentrations between Casper and Alcova Reservoir.
And if you're in the county and you're stopped Casper or Mills police officer, as examples, that officer still has authority, says Natrona County Sheriff Mark Benton.
Natrona County Sheriff Mark Benton:
"And those officers have been commissioned and deputized by myself, so they do act under the color of law with legal authority, so if you get stopped by a Mills policeman, I suggest that you not decline to sign a citation simply because he's not in Mills."
Natrona County Coroner and spokesperson for the Wyoming Seat Belt Coalition Connie Jacobson made the point that seat belt usage in Wyoming is low, and that people are going to be seeing "click it, don't risk it" window clings as a reminder.
Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobson:
"You're for times more likely to die if you're ejected outside the truck instead of staying confined in the truck where there's room to live. One hundred percent of the male pickup drivers 18 to 34 years of age were not buckled. Wyoming ranks as one of the lowest states in the nation for observed seat belt usage."
Also at the press conference was Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Terry Vincent, who said the Combined Accident Reduction Traffic Enforcement coincides with the Highway Patrol's May Mobilization, which emphasizes enforcement of seat belt laws.
Highway Patrol Lt. Terry Vincent:
"Starting yesterday (May 23), we have an incentive program for the troopers, and that runs through June the 4th. Troopers get incentive awards for seat belt citations, child restraint citations, and things along that line."