ISP steps up patrol

As holiday travelers prepare to celebrate the weekend with friends and family, one law enforcement agency is increasing its numbers to make sure everyone has a safe weekend.

The Iowa State Patrol is stepping up its operations because of the large amount of people who will be on the highways this weekend.

Locally, Sgt. Mark Miller said troopers will be at different events throughout the weekend.

“Around here we’ll have the ABATE rally, and we make sure we have officers there to help reduce accidents,” Miller said. “There are different fireworks events that are happening from Fort Dodge to Twin Lakes and we have different local ceremonies.”

The presence of troopers can help reduce incidents.

“We try to put people around the area so they’re visible, which includes having a few extra troopers out,” Miller said.

With the increased law enforcement presence, Miller said troopers will be keeping their eyes out for different situations that could cause problems.

“We’re looking for faster drivers, distracted drivers, tired drivers, and, of course, drunk drivers,” he said. “We’re also looking to stop road rage incidents where people might get frustrated after a long day of driving.”

In addition to the increased patrols, Miller said the Iowa State Patrol will be participating in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s special traffic enforcement program, which aims to stop people from driving without seatbelts.

“Pretty much every time sTEP has happened we have officers that are actively engaged in it,” Miller said.

He added that the increased amount of troopers on the highways makes a difference in the amount of incidents.

“It seems like when we hit the areas harder it reduces different problems,” he said. “It tends to slow people down when they see us out there.”

Miller asked that anyone traveling this weekend be mindful of their surroundings.

“Watch out for other drivers,” he said. “Be patient and take your time. You’ll get there when you get there.”