Police prepare for Labor Day weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2004

Times-Journal City Editor

Last year two people in the seven county area covered by the Craig Field State Trooper Post died during the Labor Day holiday.

And that’s two good reasons to increase the police presence on the streets during this year’s holidays, according to police.

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This year, state troopers and Selma Police officers will be out in force to slow down speeders and help guarantee the safety of area drivers.

“We’re going to be working it,” Lt. David Evans, head of the SPD traffic division.

To accomplish their goal, area law enforcement officers will be working overtime through the 78-hour holiday weekend. The extra labor cost is being covered by a grant to the Central Alabama Highway Department, administered through ADECA.

Officers in the SPD are planning saturation patrols and checkpoints throughout the city.

State troopers, stationed at Craig Field, are planning line patrols on the interstates and will also be monitoring the roadways throughout the county.

“We’re going to be putting more troopers on the road, to try and keep the public safer,” Lt. Billy Wiggins, of the Craig Field trooper post, said. “There’s going to be so many more cars on the road.”

Recently, the state announced a plan to limit speeding throughout the state, as officials expect the death toll for traffic fatalities this year to reach 1,300.

Last year, in the Selma city limits, 24 accidents were reported. Eight people died in the state.

Evans hopes this year the numbers will be lower.

“We encourage all people to obey the traffic laws, don’t drink and drive, and if you do drink, make sure you have a designated driver,” he said.

The Department of Public Safety estimates that 15 people may die as the result of

traffic crashes in Alabama during the 78-hour Labor Day holiday travel period beginning