SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Highway Patrol troopers from Minnesota and South Dakota are on Interstate 90 today in a joint high-visibility enforcement operation focused on stopping criminal activity and reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities. At 6 a.m. Thursday morning, June 13, troopers from the two states’ patrols began working I-90 from Chamberlain, S.D., to Fairmont, Minn. In addition to interstate patrols, troopers will be working other state and county roads in the area. The operation continues through 1 a.m. on Friday, June 14, and includes troopers generally assigned to the area as well as additional personnel from nearby duty stations. Many local law enforcement agencies also are participating in the day-long operation. Law enforcement officers involved will enforce all traffic and highway laws with emphasis on seatbelt use, speeding and drinking and driving. In addition, K-9 units, or police service dogs, will be working the highway, and the Motor Carrier Division will be conducting truck inspections. “It’s an opportunity for troopers from the neighboring states to work together in a mission intended to raise awareness of the importance of highway safety and to enforce all traffic and criminal laws in both states,’’ said Captain Kevin Joffer, commander of the South Dakota Highway Patrol’s Sioux Falls district. “The presence of additional troopers should encourage motorists to make safe choices, and that means we will have accomplished a large part of our mission to make the highways safer.’’ “With this joint operation, we are sending a strong message that both states have a ‘no tolerance’ policy regarding hazardous traffic violations and interstate criminal activity,’’ said Captain John Ebner of the Minnesota State Patrol. “We plan on saving lives, reducing injuries and criminal activities, making our roads safer for all those who travel on them.’’ Joffer and Ebner will discuss the two-state operation during a joint appearance at the Sioux Falls Police Department’s regular daily news briefing at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 13. The briefing will be held at the Police Law Enforcement Center, 320 W. 4th Street, Sioux Falls. In South Dakota, the enforcement operation is a complement to the Highway Patrol’s summer-long “Obey the Sign and Avoid the Fine’’ safe-travel campaign. The campaign includes high-visibility saturation patrols, troopers working in teams and partnership efforts with local law enforcement. The focus is on speed and alcohol violations, but all other traffic laws will also be enforced.
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