by Will Lewis
Tuesday night roadblocks were set up on Baytree rd. and in Lake park, following a meeting of the South Regional Traffic Enforcement Network, one of 16 chapters of an organization that monitors all 159 counties in Georgia.
“[Tuesday] night city police, county police and state patrol had roadblocks in Lake Park and, I believe, Baytree rd,” Maj. Anne Farmer, VSU Police Dept., said.
The cooperative police presence is a regular occurrence in Lowndes County. Farmer said it is a “tool” to help with establishing a presence in Valdosta.
The roadblocks allow law enforcement to utilize their various resources. The City will usually take the opportunity to use their Mobile Command Van, said Farmer.
The large police presence was disconcerting to some Valdosta Residents.
“It looked like it was every cop in Valdosta,” Amanda Stone, public administration graduate student, said. “They don’t normally have public safety vehicles out there for just a traffic stop. All of their lights were on; it looked like a wreck or something. Fifteen cops all in a row, all stopping people and checking ID’s.”
The roadblock comes in advance of a joint push by Georgia and Tennessee police to crack down on driving offenses over the holiday weekend.
The operation is being set into motion to combat a holiday weekend notorious for driving accidents and fatalities. Last year there were 13 deaths recorded on Georgia roads last Labor Day.
“When dinner is done and homework is complete are prayers are said that moms and dads can put their children to bed, kiss them goodnight and live to see another day… That’s what our goal is,” Captain Gary McConathy, Ft. Oglethorpe police captain, said in an interview with WRCB in Chattanooga, Tenn.