Valley law enforcement increase patrols for Memorial Day weekend

Saturday, May 29, 2021
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From highways to waterways, law enforcement agencies will be out in full force over the next few days.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- We're not even halfway through 2021 and officers with the California Highway Patrol are already investigating 124 deadly crashes in the Central Valley.

Central Division Chief Scott Parker says that's a 20% increase compared to this time last year.

Parker says they're now stepping up patrols to change the narrative.

CHP will be using every asset in the arsenal this Memorial Day weekend to reduce collisions and save lives.

"Including special enforcement units, commercial strike forces, motorcycle enforcement, and aerial assets and we will be doing this with high visible patrols," Parker says.

It all starts with saturation patrols along Highway 41 and 46.

They're also partnering with other law enforcement agencies to get more eyes on the road.

The Fresno Police Department is committing 18 additional officers to the operation.

Authorities will also be patrolling waterways.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office will have their boating enforcement unit out at popular lakes.

Typically they monitor the Kings River, but since the water is low, they're moving their resources to other locations.

"Wear those life jackets, reduce your alcohol consumption and stay out of the water if you are not a good swimmer," says Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Larry Calandra owns Millerton Lake Rentals.

He's expecting big crowds this holiday weekend.

He encourages those on the water to be cautious and pay close attention to their surroundings.

"If you are drinking, don't drive obviously and take it slow. If you can get on your personal watercraft or boat, take it nice and slow. The chance of you having an accident are going to go way down," says Calandra.

Parker says throughout the summer they will be conducting vigorous enforcement to keep roads safe and reduce deaths.