Christmas Eve, Chrismas Day and New Year's Eve are three of the deadliest days for law enforcement. (Photo courtesy Facebook/Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association)
By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD - It was Leo Tolstoy who wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
That’s one reason why Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the three deadliest days in law enforcement. The other is New Year’s Eve.
Too often, says Sean Smoot, a holiday celebration turns into an alcohol-fueled family feud.
“That happens quite frequently,” says Smoot, executive director of the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association. “We have child visitation issues, and often there’s an exchange between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and sometimes those circumstances result in law enforcement becoming involved as well.”
Smoot, whose group represents about 10,000 officers from local to state police, says a domestic call can be ripe for violence, and being able to send an extra officer - or two or three - can help defuse the situation.
Police ramp up traffic patrols during the holidays
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois State Police and transportation officials are stepping up their drunk-driving and seat belt enforcement as part of a final safety push this year.
Drivers can expect to see hundreds of roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and enforcement patrols looking for drunk drivers and unbuckled motorists in final days of the year.
Transportation officials say the increase in enforcement comes at a time of year when data shows late-night alcohol involvement is higher and seat belt use lower than at other times throughout the year.
Patrols will be dispatched during deadly nighttime hours.
Preliminary figures show that 937 people have died in car crashes this year. That's 53 more people than the same time last year.
Transportation officials say they want the roads safe for the holidays.