Local law enforcement agencies ready for New Year's Eve

Posted: Dec. 29, 2012 4:29 pm Updated: Jan. 12, 2013 6:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

When it comes to New Year's Eve patrols, local law enforcement officials aren't sure what to expect.

"Each year is different," said Sgt. Dan Duhamel of the Quincy Police Department. "Some years it can be tame, and others we'll be busy all night long."

People will ring in 2013 on Tuesday night. For many that means a night on the town attending parties and spending the evening with friends. That also means there is a greater chance of people driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Quincy Police Department will continue with its STEP enforcement traffic detail, Duhamel said. During the STEP details, which are funded through a grant provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation, officers target drivers who are impaired, speeding, not wearing seat belts and doing other moving violations. Other than the officers who out on STEP duty, the QPD doesn't anticipate having any extra officers on duty.

The Adams County Sheriff's Department will also be operating at normal staffing levels. Sheriff Brent Fischer said that deputies will be checking on the various taverns in the county, which he said offer a special challenge. Liquor licenses, he said, allow those taverns to stay open later than those inside the Quincy city limits.

"We will be cognizant of those taverns in the county and stroll through and check out activity," Fischer said.

Illinois State Police expect to be at higher staffing levels for the holiday, Trooper Mike Kindhart said.

"We'll have extra patrols and roadside safety checks," he said. "We'll try to saturate areas and make sure everyone has the opportunity to get home safely."

None of the agencies expects things to get too out of hand.

"We're see a lot more voluntary compliance," Kindhard said. "People make plans to stay over where they are celebrating or make sure they have a hotel room that is close by or they will designate a sober driver. It used to be considered kind of like an ‘amateur night' but I feel we are getting a lot more voluntary compliance now."

Fischer wants people to celebrate smartly.

"New Year's Eve is a big night and no one wants to get in trouble," he said. "Have a good time, but line up whatever you need to."