Increased Highway Patrols in Jasper County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/17/04

Increased Highway Patrols in Jasper County

A lot of the people flowing off of River Street tonigh are going to be getting in cars when they probably shouldn't. And if they head north of Savannah, Hardeeville, South Carolina, is getting ready. They will be blanketing the entire southern Jasper County area with more police than they've ever had before.

If you do the math, it ends up averaging about four officers for every mile of roadway. "This is easily twice as big as anything we've ever done before," said Rob Dewig with the City of Hardeeville. "Ever."

Hardeeville's teaming up with 14 other agencies to completely blanket I-95, Highway 17 and Highway 278. "Hopefully with the police presence, people will wise up and not drink and drive," said Sgt. Mike Benton of Hardeeville PD.

Benton's been patrolling Hardeeville for eleven St. Patrick's Days, and he says officers are ready for anything. "You never know what you're going to get out here."

Last year, Hardeeville had more police than usual, but nothing close to the numbers they'll have this week through Friday. The city's Dewig explained, "Last year's event was a big success. We wrote over a hundred tickets last year. I don't want to judge success by tickets, but people who conceivably would have been causing trouble or accidents up the road didn't."

Dewig says they won't have any roadblocks set up anywhere, but they hope the sheer number of marked cars slows down everyone and keeps any potential disasters from even having a chance.

The increased patrols on I-95 will go from the state line up to mile marker 18, and from Hardeeville to the county lines on both 17 and 278.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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