600 drivers ticketed in 24 hours during police detail

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Columbus Police officers, state troopers, sheriff's deputies and deputy marshal's are out in full force throughout Columbus, ticketing hundreds of drivers.

The crackdown is called "Operation Zero Tolerance."

"We had 312 citations issued in the first 12 hours, we made 12 physical arrests out of those 312. We had a trafficking cocaine case made by the Harris County Canine Unit and we've made several other misdemeanor narcotics cases," revealed Major Mike Massey of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say the traffic detail doesn't have anything to do with filling a quota or making money- it's an aggressive response to citizens concerns.

"My office receives complaints on a daily basis about driving behaviors here in the city and we react to those complaints and the majority of those complaints we receive are due to excessive speeds," said Lieutenant Mark D. Starling who oversees the Columbus Police Department's Motor Squad.

"We've had a lot of citizen complaints generated on super speeders on the interstate and speeders through the school zones since school opened," Major Massey added.

Joint efforts by local law enforcement agencies like Operation Zero Tolerance seem to be working when it comes to improving safety on local roadways.

"About the same time last year, Columbus Police Department was involved in 13 fatality investigations. This same time this year, we're only at 8 so there is an improvement over last year. The selective traffic enforcement that all of our agencies are involved in is making an impact. We do this for public safety. We're doing it to save lives," Lieutenant Starling said.

Along with the local crackdown, the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety launched "Operation Zero Tolerance" across the entire state of Georgia Friday.

That project will last through the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

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