Earlier this fall, it was announced by the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department they would be the recipient of a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation for increased patrols within the county.
Over the Halloween weekend, the department began their DUI and seat belt enforcement through the grant. According to Chief Deputy Mike Walker, they had to get things lined up very quickly, but they were able to bring in 2 DUI arrests, which he feels was a success.
Starting next week, the Sheriff's office will soon be focused on seat belt enforcement. Walker indicates the grant go through different cycles of zero-tolerance enforcement, and their next focus is drivers and passengers wearing seat belts. He notes they do have to set up signs that indicate drivers are entering an area that is being enforced.
The grant helps pay for Sheriff's Deputies' overtime pay. Walker indicates there's overtime pay in the extra patrols and also the paper work that comes with issuing so many citations. He adds any revenue generated from the added patrols will go back into the County.
After the weeks leading up to and through Thanksgiving weekend, the next scheduled patrols are DUI enforcement during the Christmas and New Year holidays.