Starke County Law-Enforcement Agencies Join State-Wide Initiative

For the first time in awhile, the law-enforcement agencies of Starke County are joining the state-wide Operation Pull Over campaign. The initiative started on Friday and will run through December 3rd. During this time, there will be increased patrols where officers will be on the look out for motorists violating the seat belt and impaired driving laws.

North Judson Town Marshall Kelly Fisher said her officers will be joining members of the Hamlet and Knox Police Departments as well as the Starke County Sheriff’s Office with the operation. She said it’s important to have this blitz at this time of the year since more people are out on the road visiting friends and family for the holidays.

One bit of advice she had for motorists was to have a designated driver if they plan to be attending a party where they’ll be drinking. She explained the procedure of what happens when an officer has probable cause to pull a vehicle over for driving under the influence.

“Once we get them pulled over we’ll ask them for their license and registration and at that time we’ll be looking for impairment and then we’ll use field sobriety and portable breath tests and then they’ll be transported to the jail pending what the results are.” Fisher said, “Then we run a certified test and if at that point, they’re over then they’ll be arrested.”

Other things officers will be watching for are distracted drivers and people failing to wear their seat belts. Fisher said unbuckled drivers and passengers can face a fine of up to $25. She added that young children must also be properly secured in car or booster seats.

Back in October, WKVI News reported that Knox Police Officer Chad Dulin spoke to the Board of Public Works about Starke County receiving 100 hours from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department’s enforcement effort to participate in this campaign.

He explained that Starke County is on a probationary period so during this campaign they will split the 100 hours equally between all four law-enforcement agencies in the county. In order to have a stand alone enforcement effort with more hours in the next campaign, they must show improved statistics this year. When it is determined that they’re no longer in a probationary period, they can then become eligible for grant funding for equipment and other needs.