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Officials to increase patrols Wednesday

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Those planning to celebrate the new year Wednesday should be careful.

Both the Brazil City Police Department and Clay County Sheriff's Department will have extra patrols out New Year's Eve.

"We're going to have extra people out this year," Brazil Police Chief Dave Archer said. "Right now, we have a shortage or manpower. We're kind of in a bind right now. But we'll have extra people out (Wednesday)."

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton agreed.

"We've been doing that ever since I started," Heaton told The Brazil Times, adding information he's received from other sheriffs statewide says most counties increase patrols at this time of year.

Heaton said on a typical day, three patrols are out in the county. However, he said there could be five or six patrols out on New Year's Eve.

"There are certain areas in the county that have more traffic," he said.

Archer said his department has noticed a decline in DUI arrests during this holiday in recent years.

"That is a big plus for us," he said. "The focus on drinking and driving in the last couple of years has enlightened people."

Heaton added his department sees more DUI arrests during the Fourth of July.

"It seems like the colder weather keeps people in," he said.

Heaton said the focus will be on Wednesday and will carry into the weekend. He added he hoped those planning on celebrating away from their home have prepared.

"If you're going to celebrate and drink, definitely don't drive," he said. "Find a designated driver.

"We want people to be safe during the holidays. Bring the new year in right."

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