Law enforcement uses flight support for street racers
KVRR'S Brandon Blakney brings us inside the action during his ride along with North Dakota Highway Patrol.
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR)- On this KVRR exclusive we take you inside the latest North Dakota Highway Patrol flight operation, and their efforts to crackdown on speed racing.
Before we hit the streets there was a briefing to fill everyone in on plans and for the eight officers from Fargo PD, West Fargo PD and North Dakota Highway Patrol to get familiar with one another.
These operations take months of planning, this one was fueled by public complaints to Fargo PD.
“The citizens of Fargo were asking the Fargo police to do something about the street racing, the exhibition driving, we’ve also seen an increase in traffic crashes related to some of those aggressive driving behaviors,” Sgt. Adam Malafa, North Dakota Highway Patrol.
The state ranks first in the nation in speed racing and reckless driving violations according to a Insurify study.
“We have a tool that we can use to try and deter those violations and that is our airplane. The plane obviously does have some technological advantages. It has a flir, forward looking infrared device that is able to track things, it’s a little more sophisticated than just driving behind in a squad car,” said Malafa.
They say it has the advantage of an aerial view so it can see multiple violations happening at once, and it has cameras to record where suspects go if they flee.
“It allows us to follow a violator without having to engage in a high speed pursuit, that keeps the public safe, it keeps the officer safe, and it also keeps the violator safe,” said Malafa.
We pulled over three vehicles during the ride along, all of them were issued citations, the first male was taken to jail for driving with a suspended license and failure to transfer a title, their focus was on the stretch between University Dr and 10th street.
Sgt Malafa also says the gave out a couple citations for exhibition driving.
“So exhibition driving is you know our century code basically says any unnecessary engine noise, tire squeals, series of abrupt terms, anything that disturbs the peace in that manner is considered exhibition driving,” said Malafa.
He says a traffic stop could lead to something more serious and help get a bad person off the street.
“Those citizen complaints on traffic what that tells us is that the public trusts the police services that Fargo PD, Cass County, West Fargo and highway patrol have to offer,” said Malafa.