Joint Agency Effort Nets More Arrests, Citations

BATMobiles (CCSO)
Four BATMobiles were deployed to allow processing and charging of detainees in the field during Thursday's opening of Operation Heat Wave. (CCSO Photo)

Saturday wrapped up three days of aggressive traffic enforcement coordinated by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, resulting in seven more fugitives being arrested and multiple traffic violations.

Operation Heat Wave began Thursday and continued into Saturday night, with deputies from New Hanover and Brunswick counties joining State Troopers in saturation patrols across Columbus. The effort was part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click It or Ticket campaign for Memorial Day.

Sheriff Bill Rogers said in a press release that the three-day sweep was a success.

“The outcomes from the second and third nights of ‘Operation Heat Wave’ emphasize the determined commitment of our law enforcement partners. Together, we achieved notable progress in protecting our communities by actively reducing traffic-related incidents.”

Thursday’s multiagency effort involved four mobile Blood Alcohol Testing labs – called BATMobiles – as well as law enforcement from local agencies and Robeson, Bladen, Pender and Brunswick counties.

Friday’s patrols ran form 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., and netted three wanted fugitives, one impaired driver, 21 speeding citations, and 78 other charges. Saturday’s sweep was from 6-9 p.m. and turned up four more fugitives and 56 other violations. Thursday’s initial patrols resulted in one wanted fugitive, one DWI, and 89 other charges.

Seatbelt violations were down from previous large-scale efforts, but officials continue to emphasize the need for use of proper restraints in vehicles.

Rogers thanked the other agencies who participated in the three-day effort. More large-scale sweeps will be held in the future.

“The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to this vital operation and encourages all drivers to adhere to traffic laws, use seat belts, and drive responsibly,” he said in the press release.

About Jefferson Weaver 2095 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].