The in basket: When I saw a Bremerton police black and white patrol car pull out of a side road on Mile Hill in South Kitsap Monday about 10:15 a.m., I thought it mildly curious. When I saw it again or one just like it making a traffic stop on Highway 166 near the Banana Hammock expresso stand in Port Orchard about an hour later, my curiosity was piqued.
It lasted only until I got back on my computer and found a tweet from State Trooper Russ Winger saying, “‘Hopefully, you won’t meet one of these officers in South Kitsap today,” accompanied by a photo of 11 uniformed officers.
He was touting the distracted driving emphasis patrol being done between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, just in SK.
Marsha Master of the county’s Traffic Safety Commission said the 11 were working the south end with an eye out specifically for drivers not paying attention to what they were doing. I imagine cell phone use and texting generated most of the stops made, but personal grooming and eating were candidates.
Marsha had gotten only one anecdote about a stop by Thursday, and it was off-topic. An officer heard chains dragging on the pavement in Gorst which called his attention to a driver towing a trailer without his safety chains secured to prevent his trailer from getting away .
Reports from the officers received by Thursday detailed 80 or so stops during the four hours, and she expected it would total more than 100 when she gets them all. She hadn’t counted how many citations were issued, she said.
Those officers will be doing another one on Bainbridge Island on April 18, a countywide seat belt emphasis on May 18, and a speed emphasis around June 1.
She drove around watching some of the stops Monday, and the drivers pulled over seemed more chagrined than angry, she said.
There were reports Monday of a lockdown at South Kitsap High School (unfounded) and just a lot of police activity near the high school. I couldn’t find out what it was about, but maybe it was young texters and cell phone users getting the attention they need.