Vacation for students means more work for police

BY DANZA JOHNSON

DAILY JOURNAL

TUPELO – Even though students in the Lee County and Tupelo school districts get the week off for spring break, law enforcement will be working overtime to make sure things run smoothly.

Tupelo Police Chief Harold Chaffin said that because so many students are out of school this week, maximum use of the police reserves will be used to ensure safety.

“Whenever there are a lot of people on the streets, traffic will increase which means accidents will increase,” said Chaffin. “We'll be using more manpower to deal with the increases. Crime won't necessarily go up, so what we are doing is just preventive in nature.”

Maj. Anthony Hill, the patrol commander for the Tupelo Police, said a lot more bike patrols are occurring this week.

“We will use a lot of bike patrols and focus a lot of attention on the Special Operation Groups,” said Hill. SOGs are seven-man teams that are not assigned any particular area to patrol, which give them more flexibility to respond to special situations.

Hill said they are beefing up patrols for the safety of the students, not because they think they are going to break the law.

“There will be a lot of kids out riding bikes and things like that and we just want to make sure they are safe.”

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said his department has switched some shifts so more manpower can be out during peak times.

“We'll check the weather, because more people tend to be out when it's warm, and we'll see where we need to be,” said Johnson. “Any time you have people, in this case students, not having to worry about what they normally do – they tend to get into mischief and we want to cut down on that.”

Johnson said major crimes generally don't show an increase during spring break.

Contact Danza Johnson at 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com