Deputies target night watch, speeding

Published 12:08 am Saturday, July 11, 2015

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish law enforcement officers dealing with nighttime perpetrators and speeding motorists are now aided with additional technological advances, Sheriff Mike Tregre reported this week.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office recently acquired four thermal imaging hand-held detectors, Tregre said, which will make more thorough nighttime investigations possible.

Tregre said many crime suspects use the dark of night and the cover of wooded areas and golf courses to hide before and after crimes, adding investigating officers will now be able to see footprints in grass, places touched outside of homes and other evidence left behind thanks to the thermal imaging tools.

Tregre said another investigative area was aided when two additional traffic boxes were added to the traffic division of the Sheriff’s Office.

“We get lots of complaints about speeding motorists,” Tregre said. “These traffic boxes are savings us a lot of time and man-power hours.”

Tregre said the boxes are moved around the parish and remain in one place for a few days, adding they are situated in areas where residents report speeding motorists.

The boxes display the speed limit and the speed of the passing driver, and if a driver is traveling over the speed limit the display flashes.

Tregre said the recording capabilities of the boxes means statistical data on speeds travelled, as well as the peak times of speeding offenses, are recorded and analyzed.

“These boxes give my traffic division great information and let us know where there are traffic problems,” Tregre said, adding deputy patrols can then be increased for the proven problematic areas.

“These are just added tools in the tool box to keep things safe,” Tregre said of the traffic boxes and thermal imaging detectors.