Safety checks focus on ‘booze, belts and speed’
by Jessica Loeding
Mar 22, 2013 | 1838 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force Commander Capt. Mark Mayton draws blood from a man suspected of driving under the influence on Highway 113 at the Bartow-Polk County line. The Bartow County Sheriff's Office had its mobile intox unit on scene during road checks following the Mountain Area Traffic Enforcement Network II meeting Thursday night. JESSICA LOEDING/The Daily Tribune News
Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force Commander Capt. Mark Mayton draws blood from a man suspected of driving under the influence on Highway 113 at the Bartow-Polk County line. The Bartow County Sheriff's Office had its mobile intox unit on scene during road checks following the Mountain Area Traffic Enforcement Network II meeting Thursday night. JESSICA LOEDING/The Daily Tribune News
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Bartow County Sheriff’s Office got a jump start to road checks ahead of the Mountain Area Traffic Enforcement Network II meeting Thursday.

Agencies established road checks beginning at 1 p.m. from the Main Street exit 288 to mile marker 287 on Interstate 75 north and south. Officials said 55 citations were issued during that operation, which targeted public safety concerns.

BCSO Capt. Lee Fletcher said speeding citations from 87 mph to 102 mph were issued along with tickets for tractor-trailers traveling in the wrong lane.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. agencies from across north Georgia gathered at the Clarence Brown Conference Center for the MATEN II meeting, which featured 89 officers from 21 agencies in 10 counties.

“This is the end of the line for my network. We have 10 meetings a year, and we try to get all the different counties. Obviously, we can’t hit every city because I got 44 agencies, but we try to hit every county at least once in a cycle in a year,” explained Network Coordinator Ft. Oglethorpe Capt. Gary McConathy. “Like last year in June, during Riverbend [Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn.], the first night of Riverbend we had a multi-jurisdictional detail that covered from I-75 north in Chattanooga all the way to the Florida line. At least one off-ramp in every county we had a road check set up on catching the people leaving out.”

The purpose of the MATEN II meetings, McConathy said, is to allow agencies to network and share ideas. Following the more than two-hour meeting, officers from several agencies took to Highway 113 at the Polk County line and U.S. Highway 411 near Alford Road for safety checks.

“We’ll go out and do road checks where we’re looking for people — booze, belts and speed — people that don’t wear their seat belts, people who don’t have their children properly restrained, or drinking and driving,” McConathy said.

Officers had made several arrests and issued citations at the Highway 113 location by 10 p.m., including seizing marijuana from at least one vehicle.

Fletcher said the final numbers from Thursday night’s operations would not be available until early next week.