Checking for speed, aggressive driving, as well as for criminal interdiction, state and county law enforcement conducted an emphasis patrol out along the Clearwater Valley last week.
According to Cpl. Cory Juber, Idaho State Police (ISP), the three-hour patrol was conducted between Greer at State Highway 11 and Kooskia on State Highway 12 and U.S. Highway 12. Juber and two other ISP troopers worked with K9 units from both the Idaho and Lewis county sheriff’s offices.
A total 14 contacts were made during the patrol resulting in six warning and nine citations: one misdemeanor, four for speeding, one for seat belt usage, two for lack of registration and one for no insurance. During this, K9 drug detection dogs were deployed six times with no illegal substances found.
“It was pretty good,” Juber said on the patrol outcome. “The numbers were a little bit lower than expected, which to me is a good thing.”
This patrol initiates what is planned to be a quarterly happening within the region: to establish a law enforcement presence to encourage motorists to reduce their speeds and practice safe driving habits.
“It’s increasing awareness that law enforcement is out and about, and ensure everyone is doing everything they can, from speed during weather conditions to seat belt use.”
This patrol hits an area of concern for regional law enforcement: U.S.12.
“It’s a dangerous roadway,” Juber said, that sees numerous fatality accidents, “with the vast majority of these due to inattention or speed related.”
While no illegal substances were found in this sweep, Juber acknowledged, “Drugs are really prevalent in this area, and the K9 units from multiple counties help decrease the amount of drugs on the streets.” Finding drugs during emphasis patrols is “hit or miss,” he said, and when people see a lot of officers in an area, “the word gets out quick.” With the work Idaho and Lewis counties are doing, and in seeing the K9 vehicles traveling through the areas, this helps discourage those transporting drugs.
“These dogs are an amazing asset,” he said, as far as what they do for interdiction. “This expands the tools we have to be able to locate drugs.”
Quarterly emphasis patrols are planned in different areas through District 2 (comprised of Idaho, Lewis, Clearwater, Nez Perce and Latah counties).
“We will also conduct follow-up in areas that we’ve already hit,” Juber said, “so we will be in the highway 12 corridor area we did at a later date. We can then see what the new numbers look like, and hopefully we’ll see the statistics decrease [in areas such as speeding and aggressive driving].”