Louisiana, Mississippi sheriff’s offices unite for DWI checkpoint

Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In what might have been an historical first, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office joined forces Friday night to conduct a DWI checkpoint at the state line.

Each agency set up on its own side of the line where Louisiana Highway 21 meets Mississippi Highway 35, and with deputies manning the checkpoint and narcotics officers patrolling nearby secondary roads, arrests were made in what turned out to be a productive night for both agencies.

Starting at around 10 p.m., the highway was illumined with flashing blue lights atop patrol cars while deputies wearing reflective vests and equipped with flashlights stood at-the-ready beside reflective cones on both sides of the “Welcome to …” sign.

Washington Parish deputies and narcotics officers ultimately made three DWI arrests and two felony drug arrests and issued three additional tickets.

Marion County deputies and narcotics officers made one DWI arrest, one drug arrest and one arrest for possession of a stolen handgun. The pistol was reported stolen out of California.

The joint DWI checkpoint was Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal’s idea. He presented the proposition to Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall, who jumped at the opportunity.

The idea was to catch lawbreakers who might have thought they could lose the law at the state line. Seal said the criminals need to think again.

“This is a good example of cooperation between neighboring law enforcement jurisdictions, and we hope to do it again in the future with Marion County and other neighboring counties,” he said. “Criminals who think they are safe in running back and forth between Louisiana and Mississippi need to realize that we will be out there and we will be looking for you. We will be working together to catch you and put you in jail. You never know when we will be around the corner.”

Seal said he doesn’t believe such a joint operation had ever previously taken place.

“I’ve asked around and no one can remember anything like this happening in the past,” he said. “It worked out well, though, and we will do it again. We want to continue to be creative as we work hard to protect the citizens of Washington Parish. I am grateful to Sheriff Hall for his cooperation. It is a pleasure to work with him and his fine deputies.”