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Law enforcement plans patrols for the holidays

By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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Holiday revelers need to plan ahead as many local law enforcement agencies will beef up patrol cars on the road now through January. One agency, however, said budget cuts will impact its department’s coverage this year. “We will have existing patrol deputies checking parking lots and keeping an eye out for shoppers,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dena Erwin. “But due to the current state of the county budget, we are not adding extra patrols as in years past.” Erwin said Placer County sheriff deputies will participate in “AVOID the 7” grant programs, such as a multi-agency driving under the influence checkpoint Dec. 20. “AVOID the 7” is a Placer County DUI program that includes seven local public safety jurisdictions in the county. Scott Alford, Auburn Police Department officer, is helping coordinate multi-agency gatherings this holiday season. He said the Dec. 20 checkpoint will be on Highway 49 in Auburn from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. between Elm and Palm avenues. Alford said some agencies will also perform sporadic “home saturation” patrols during which that agency will add a few officers to the streets during different times and on different days. California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kelly Baraga said patrol officers will be out in maximum force especially during the end of December for the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Eve. She said the agency will also join in the checkpoint. “Everybody’s working,” Baraga said. “We have extra patrols and we’re extending shifts for additional hours so we’ll be out in maximum force.” Alford said people should plan ahead and designate a sober driver when they’re going to holiday parties. “If you go out partying and don’t plan ahead, it leaves you in a predicament,” Alford said. “Unfortunately that’s why people end up drinking or driving.” The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.