Colquitt PD stepping up patrols, trying to save lives

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COLQUITT, Ga. (WTVY) Police in Colquitt, Georgia are stepping up patrols.

The morning starts early for Police Chief Hollis Smith.

When children head to school, he's already watching out for them..

Smith is keenly aware that in Georgia, more children between 1 and 12 die from car accidents than any other way.

He says, "I don't want that for our kids."

Police have been stepping up patrols, strongly enforcing traffic laws.

He says, "We've all been guilty of it, this is a small town and we all know each other. We don't want to cause any more heartache than we have to as far as writing citations and stuff but we also do not want to see our kids get hurt."

WTVYs Dillon Huffman did a ride along with Smith Tuesday morning, and saw firsthand.

Police say they have had a big issue with kids riding in the back of truck beds which is illegal for anyone in Georgia under the age of 18.

They also say parents aren't buckling their kids properly and it is illegal for anyone to not be buckled in.

The department posted on their Facebook page they would be out in full force.

Smith says, "It has already been seen by over 8,000 people and we only have 6,000 in the county."

Smith says they have seen improvements.

Jimmy Phillips is Miller County Schools superintendent.

He says, "This is a learning experience for our students, that they are required to wear the seat belts by law."

Police say they will do whatever is needed to make sure children are safe.

Smith says, "If I have to write a parent a citation for them not buckling their kids in properly, that is what we will do in order to save a life."

In Florida and Georgia, the law says no one under 18 can legally ride in the truck bed.

In Alabama, you can if you are 15 or older.

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