Enforcing on the Fourth
With the Fourth of July festivities and increasing numbers of summertime visitors, Tahoe-area law enforcement has stepped up its patrols.
Truckee Police, California Highway Patrol, and Placer County Sheriff’s have increased numbers in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, but don’t predict increased crime during the popular tourist week. Public agencies are bringing in additional bicycle, motorcycle and boat patrols to ensure a smooth and safe holiday.
“We’re doubling up on staff,” said Truckee Police Lt. Harwood Mitchell. “But there will be more service calls, not necessarily more crime.”
With all the visitors in town, Mitchell said police expect many service calls will deal with cars parked where they shouldn’t be, traffic congestion, or a child locked in a car on a warm afternoon.
Other laws Mitchell said Truckee Police expect to enforce include illegal fireworks, noise violations and alcohol-related offenses.
California Highway Patrol Officer Joe Edwards said troopers are anticipating more driving under the influence violations, as well as seat belt and pedestrian infractions.
“Additional motorcycle officers have already arrived, and for the first time we are bringing in a second bicycle team,” Edwards said.
The bicycle team will be dispatched to patrol Kings Beach, Tahoe City, Homewood and Squaw Valley, he said.
“We will be focusing on crowds,” Edwards said. “There are no checkpoints planned, just saturation of enforcement.”
While the California Highway Patrol will bring in additional motorcycle and bicycle officers, Truckee Police will step up its boat patrol on Donner Lake for the rest of the summer, Mitchell said.
“We recognized that as the town grows, the use of the lake grows,” Mitchell said. “We have a full-time officer four days a week through Labor Day.”
Police will be enforcing the mandatory counter-clockwise circulation for boats on Donner Lake, as well as other safety regulations, he said.
Placer County Sheriff’s will also bring in extra staff for foot and bike patrols for the week, said Placer County sheriff’s Captain Jeff Granum.
He said officers will focus enforcement efforts on the Truckee River corridor, and will wear shorts and water-tolerant shoes to wade into the river to respond to incidents of public intoxication or under-age drinking.
“We will have officers on bikes with water shoes on the river to prevent problems like we’ve had in the past,” Granum said.
Granum said people should be careful to lock their cars and not leave valuables inside, as they become an easy target during the holiday week.