Dexter, Malden officers step up holiday enforcement

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Officers with the Dexter and Malden police departments were among those participating in a special holiday enforcement campaign to reduce the number of traffic fatalities nationwide.

From Dec. 18 through Jan. 1, the officers partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its 2020 holiday season “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” DWI enforcement campaign.

Dexter officers worked 20 hours on traffic enforcement during the campaign and conducted 26 vehicles stops, said Capt. Joshua Benton.

No citations were given, but 22 warnings for traffic violations were issued, Benton said.

“We can’t stress this enough: drunk driving is deadly, illegal behavior, and it puts the driver, his or her passengers and other road users at terrible risk,” said Dexter Chief Trevor Pulley. “The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign helps our law enforcement officers better address this problem head on. If you feel impaired by any substance, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

During the campaign, Malden officers reportedly worked a total of 42 hours of dedicated traffic enforcement overtime.

The officers, according to a department press release, made a total of 49 traffic stops, resulting in two felony drug arrests, two warrant arrests, one misdemeanor drug arrest, one open container of alcohol arrest and one felony resisting arrest.

Malden officers also issued a total of 17 traffic citations and 39 traffic violation warnings.

Due in part to the stepped up traffic enforcement, only one minor, non-injury traffic crash was reported during the campaign in the City of Malden.

Malden Police Chief Jarrett Bullock described the grant program, which paid for the campaign, as being a “good program. It not only puts additional enforcement (personnel) on the streets at different times, it gives additional funding to put the officers out there.

“It allows for the departments to have extra funding to be more proactive for the traffic enforcement, trying to prevent traffic crashes.”

The campaign, according to Bullock, is not about issuing citations and making arrests.

It’s about positive enforcement, letting the public know the officers are out there, Bullock said.

Then, “in the midst of the traffic enforcement,” Bullock said, stops are made leading to arrests on felony warrants or ordinance violations “from your jurisdictions or other jurisdictions,” and officers “get drugs off the streets. It’s good to be out there; it provides a little bit more protection” for the public.

Throughout the new year, Malden officers will continue their stepped-up enforcement of hazardous moving traffic violations, all in part to help reduce the number of injury and fatality accidents and keep the roadways safe for all motorists and pedestrians.

According to NHTSA, 839 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during December 2018.

During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (285) than during any other holiday period that year.

These fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — drugs or alcohol — is deadly, illegal behavior.

“We encourage partygoers to always make a plan before they head out to their festivities, so that they may avoid driving drunk at all costs,” said Pulley. “Remember, it is never OK to drink and drive.

“Even one drink can be one drink too many. Drinking and driving is a choice; one you should never make.”

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