Sheriff announces new traffic emphasis
Marshall County Sheriff Norman Dalton has directed road patrol deputies to be on the lookout for speeding vehicles in hopes of increasing highway safety and preventing injury and/or death to motorists.
"We have issued a couple of citations already," Dalton said earlier this week while discussing his appeal to the motoring public. "We just want to give the citizens fair warning that they should slow down."
"Our No. 1 goal is the safety of the people in the county," the sheriff said.
"I'm not going to set a quota" on how many tickets deputies should issue, the Sheriff said. "We would hope that we would get help from the public" in persuading friends and relatives to slow down.
During a ride with one of his deputies on Wednesday, it became clear that the department's focus would include people commuting to and from work. That means that commuters who get tickets will probably be those who are speeding because they're late for work.
In addition to his concern about the wellbeing of drivers and passengers, the sheriff explained his decision to increase road patrol is a response to requests.
"Since I took the office of Sheriff of Marshall County on Sept. 1, 2010, the highest number of complaints received is that of subjects speeding on the narrow back roads of Marshall County," Dalton said in a prepared statement. "I would like to ask the great citizens of this county to help in this matter by slowing down, and also talking to your family members about the dangers of speeding which could cause serious injury or death of a loved one."
Tuesday afternoon, he added, "The complaints keep coming in. It's something I've thought about long and hard.
"We've tried to let the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the city police departments take care of it (on state and city roads) but it (radar patrol on back roads) is just something that I've looked at and studied and decided we needed to do something about because of the complaints and for the safety of the people.
"We've received complaints from all over the county, north end, south end, east and west."
Asked where speeding seems to be most prevalent, Dalton named Craig Moore, Thick, Sam Simpson, Fishing Ford, Lunns Store and Finley Beech roads.
"And that's just to name some," the sheriff said.
The department has had two patrol cars fitted with radar, "but then I was given another and I've inquired about purchasing one more," he said.
"We've got several officers here who are certified (to use the equipment) and we have some more who are going to be qualified," Dalton continued. "We have one officer who is certified to train officers to run radar and we'll have two more certified."