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Law enforcement to patrol in force

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
The Brewton Police Department and officials with the Department of Public Safety will be out in full force this weekend with the goal of making roads safer for Memorial Day travelers.
Officers with the Brewton Police Department (BPD) will utilize grant money in their efforts to patrol the streets during the holiday weekend. Several checkpoints will be set up throughout the city beginning on Friday, May 23.
According to BPD Lt. Randy Nicholson, who is overseeing the Click-It or Ticket campaign in Brewton, the
city receives funds three times each year to participate in the program.
Alabama State Troopers are also planning to increase patrols on state highways and will set up checkpoints. These officers will emphasize safety belt and child restraint enforcement as part of two holiday safety initiatives - Click It or Ticket and Buckle Up America Week.
The troopers have been instructed to exercise a zero tolerance policy, ticketing any motorist who violates the state's safety restraint laws, according to Public Safety Director Col. Mike Coppage.
Like the state troopers, Nicholson said local police will have similar attitudes when it comes to handing out tickets.
The police department will set up two checkpoints during the Memorial Day weekend and will have two additional checkpoints during the following weekend.
The Department of Public Safety estimates that 16 people may die as a result of traffic crashes in Alabama during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday travel period which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends at midnight on Monday.
Last year, nine motorists died in traffic crashes during the holiday weekend - five on rural roads and four in urban areas. Five of the victims were not using safety belts and at least one of the deaths was alcohol related.