COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WFFT) — Traffic stops occur every day, but Indiana state troopers like Joel Lemmon are putting a little more emphasis on stops during their three-day highway blitz.
“It’s just a matter of, we’re focusing on more specific things during these initiatives," Lemmon said. "And that’s part of the initiative, is to find these criminals that are coming from state to state and transporting drugs or people for trafficking and other stuff like that from other states passing through.”
Indiana State Police
Police hope having more troopers on the road looking for bad behavior will lead to finding more of those criminals.
Lemmon tries to ask a lot of questions during the traffic stops, and looks for physical clues of drivers acting suspicious.
“People tend to do different things, or tics, while they’re driving, with their body, with their hands, to indicate something might be not quite right with what they’re doing,” Lemmon said.
And the initiative is seeing results.
Lemmon found a man with a 20-year-old arrest warrant in a traffic stop early Friday afternoon.
“I stopped the car to check the plates, and he had fake plates on the vehicle," Lemmon said. "That's when I ran his license and found he had warrants out of Missouri from 2000.”
In most cases, the people pulled over aren’t wanted criminals, and Lemmon says cooperative drivers occasionally catch a bit of a break
“A lot of it depends on the person’s demeanor, on how the traffic stop ends up," Lemmon said. "You learn over the years to factor in that kind of stuff. Not everybody deserves a ticket.”
So while getting pulled over may just be another hassle for Indiana drivers, Lemmon says the ultimate goal is always to keep the community safer.
Indiana State Police say they have other initiatives throughout the year with focuses on seatbelts, impaired and distracted driving.