SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - I-95 was full of blue lights this week as Sumter County Sheriff’s Office pushed a traffic initiative called Operation Ice Storm. Officers were hoping to promote safer driving by showing a large police presence, but many of those incidents turned out to be more than just your average traffic stop.
Sumter County sheriff’s office has one simple message.
“Drive the way you drive when you see us,” said Sgt. Bryan Dulong from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
These officers are in marked and unmarked vehicles and they see you. They’ve had a busy week confiscating illegal items from many of those traffic stops.
“We’ve got several pounds of marijuana,” said Sgt. Jason Tassone from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Offices. “ Several ounces of cocaine. We’ve arrested 2 people for DUI.”
Officers were out in teams all week to enforce what they call Operation Ice Storm. It’s an initiative that focuses on traffic violations to help bring down rising numbers of deaths on the road.
“In the county of Sumter, we’re actually approaching the yearly total from last year and it’s only March,” Dulong said.
The stops begin with normal traffic issues like failing to signal or speeding, but many of them lead to larger finds.
At last tally, officers seized 110 grams of cocaine, 1,404 grams of marijuana, 500 grams of methamphetamine, and 10 firearms.
Working in 12-hour sweeps, they’ve been trying to let folks know…they have got to pay attention to the road.
And to the drivers involved committing more heinous crimes…officers say, their eyes are on you.
“Be ready because your day will come,” Dulong said. “Every time that you come out and you decide to do these horrible acts there, there are people looking. You have to get lucky every time you hit the road an do these acts. We only have to get lucky once.”
During one of those stops, a suspect put his car and drive and drug an officer several feet with his vehicle. That officer had minor injuries and is doing alright.