Over the Limit Part Two - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Over the Limit Part Two

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

You see those police cruisers parked along highways and interstates, and you tap your brakes, but they aren't all necessarily looking for a speeding motorist.

"They are looking for any type of criminal element, whether that be DUIs on the interstate or it could be drug related," said Lamar County Sheriff's Department Maj. Brad Weathers.

Millions of dollars in cash as well as drugs, weapons, stolen vehicles and criminals travel the highways and interstates daily and that's where highway interdiction units come in handy.

"What we do is a counter terrorism/criminal interdiction unit, obviously our primary goal is traffic safety but there is so much more," said Lamar County officer Matt Spears.

Criminals are constantly evolving their concealment techniques and are growing in their boldness, so officers must work even harder to stay one step ahead.

A simple change in driving behavior, or reducing your speed, or changing lanes can sometimes stand out to officers.

Lamar County Sheriff's Department has a secret weapon to help them stay a step ahead.

"Tag readers are something we have just started utilizing in the past six months," said Weathers.

This tool is proving to be a huge asset to agencies with interdiction units.

"They are able to capture a tag when the individual goes by at a high rate of speed, and you know they can run that information, and use that information to further their investigation," said Weathers.

But despite taking millions in cash and drugs off the roadways..

"We have interdicted some people who had ties, known ties to terroristic organizations," said Spears.

Whether it's arresting wanted suspects, or locating an amber alert child, the interdiction unit is a priceless asset to departments as well as helping county budgets.

"We use those funds that we would normally use to buy vehicles and other things, you know focus that money on other stuff like crime prevention, DUI prevention and doing stuff in the schools," said Weathers.

Whether you are breaking the law one way or another...

"You may make it once or twice, but we are out there, and we are going to be looking for you and we are going to eventually get you," said Weathers.

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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