BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — More officers will be on Battle Creek streets in the coming week after neighbors expressed concerns about traffic.
The Battle Creek Police Department will temporarily reassign up to 13 officers to do traffic patrol, it announced Thursday. The extra officers will be on duty in city neighborhoods and commercial areas between Oct. 23 and Oct. 27. They will be focusing on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving, vehicles without license plates and other minor traffic offenses, including seat belt violations.
Lt. Ryan Strunk with BCPD said one of his fellow officers recently followed a driver going 95 miles per hour on M-66, where the speed limit is 55. He added that aggressive driving in the area is manifesting in different ways.
“People tailgating others closely, zipping in and out of traffic, not signaling, cutting people off, excessive speed — a speed fluctuation,” Strunk said. “Oftentimes, you can see it with the drivers who are yelling and screaming, whatever the case may be.”
The amped-up patrols come after BCPD said it heard “ongoing traffic concerns” from Battle Creek residents.
“They’ve certainly ramped up more between where the complaints are going and how they’re getting funneled to us,” Strunk said.
Strunk explained that the the timing of this additional enforcement is critical for drivers, those patrolling them and pedestrians.
“We have Halloween coming up the week after next. … (We’ll) have an increase of pedestrian traffic on the roads,” he said. “If we can change those behaviors now and encourage people to drive and pay attention while they’re driving, I think we’re going to see those successes.”
BCPD reminded drivers that city and state laws require only hands-free cellphone use while driving, including sitting at a red light.