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HOT PURSUIT

BP Police share the right cocktail mix to keeping our roads safe
By
Rick Bussler, Publisher
Hot Pursuit, Rick Bussler

Education is equally important as enforcement when it comes to removing tipsy drivers off our roadways.

The Blooming Prairie Police Department touts both education and enforcement, which is important to see in a police agency no matter what size it is.

Back in May, Chief Greg Skillestad and his department coordinated a mock car crash at Blooming Prairie High School. The idea was to stage a serious crash involving fatalities to give students an idea what it’s like when someone has too much to drink or is distracted behind the wheel. This lesson came just prior to prom and the graduation season.

And it appears to have worked. There were no major injury or fatalities in the area involving teenagers.

This week local police officers are back at educating—this time the general public just in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. On Monday, they set up a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) crash car in which a 16-year-old was killed six and a half years ago near Chatfield.

Summer, which includes the Fourth of July, is one of the deadliest periods on our roadways. Families are once again hitting the road for vacations and weekend fun. While some people leave the area, many others stay home to attend community celebrations like Blooming Prairie’s Fourth of July.

Officer Brad Busho told me he got the idea of the MADD car after taking part in this year’s mock crash. To Busho’s knowledge, Blooming Prairie has never had a crash car on display like it is doing this week. The car will be strategically placed right next to the street dance where hundreds will party Saturday night on Main Street.

“Plan ahead and drink responsibly,” said Busho in making his pitch for an accident-free weekend.

Kudos to Chief Skillestad, Busho and other BP officers for providing the necessary education in an effort to prevent tragedies from taking place in our community.

If the education isn’t enough, police will fall back onto the traditional enforcement tactics. Led by Officer Dan Peach, who nabbed 14 drunk drivers off the local roadways last year, the local department will be aggressively out enforcing DWI laws. The locals are receiving help from the Minnesota State Patrol this weekend as extra troopers will be around the area providing DWI enforcement.

I know there have been some grumblings about the enforcement that the officers are providing. But everyone should be thanking them for the amazing work they do to keep the roadways safe from impaired drivers. Driving drunk should not be tolerated in this society.

Kaitlyn Hansen, the 16-year-old killed on Highway 52 in 2016 and whose mangled car is on display, didn’t get a second chance. Her family is left grieving her loss because of a senseless act that could have been avoided for the rest of their lives.

Isn’t it time we all go in hot pursuit of ridding society of impaired driving?

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