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Sequim will step up patrols March 23-29

The Sequim Police Department and Washington State Patrol will conduct peak daytime traffic emphasis patrols during the week of March 23-29, funded by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission.

The patrols will focus on drivers who are speeding or driving under the influence. Previous emphasis patrols also have stopped drivers with outstanding warrants and suspended or revoked licenses.

The "X-52 Patrols" are a statewide strategy that provides additional police officers to target specific locations where speeding, aggressive driving and driving under the influence are prevalent.

During a four-hour period last year, the Sequim Police Department made 29 traffic stops that resulted in two drivers with suspended licenses, 12 traffic infractions, 13 written warnings, one drug arrest and one felony arrest.

Washington State Patrol troopers working in and around Sequim made an additional 48 traffic stops that resulted in three drivers with suspended licenses, one with an open alcohol container and one with no liability insurance.

Troopers also wrote 27 traffic infractions, 16 speeding infractions and five seat belt infractions.

"Every time an officer stops a car, there are 30, 40 or 50 other drivers who pass by that stop and every driver clicks back into focusing on their safe driving, checks their speed and probably is thankful they are not the car being stopped by the police," said Chief of Police Robert Spinks.

But the extra patrols provide more than just additional traffic safety, he said.

"Additionally, bad guys, wanted felons, suspended drivers and our local criminal crowd also drive our streets and see those red and blue lights flashing and there is a deterrent crime effect that moves potential crime out of our community.

"Lastly, by making those vehicle stops, it is where we nab a lot of wanted criminals, seize a lot of narcotics and clean up our criminal element," Spinks said.

The X-52 Patrols are one way the Sequim Police Department, Clallam County Sheriff's Office and Washington State Patrol are attempting to reach the Target ZERO goal; which is to have zero traffic-related deaths or disabling injuries by the year of 2030 in Washington.

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