Summer fever: law enforcement busier in summer months

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The heat is on, and it seems warmer months are bringing more people out across the Valley. More people out usually means a busier time for law enforcement.

Whether it's drunk drivers, things being stolen out of cars or noise complaints, the summer heats up which means so do the phone lines for local law enforcement.

For a Mesa County Sheriff's deputy, each day brings something new.

"There’s really no normal day for us," Deputy Ben Marsh said. "It can be anything from helping out a dispute between neighbors to a fight to a loud party."

But no matter the issue, Marsh says there always seem to be more calls in the summer.

"Same types of things are going to happen all year long, but we just see an influx in the call volume. Kids out and about, people drinking, things of that nature," he said.

Criminal mischief, yes, loud parties, of course. And then there’s theft.

"When the sun's not really going down until 9 [p.m.], there's a lot more time to be out and about doing things with friends," Marsh said.

Sheriff’s deputies see it all, and those extra calls translate over to other law enforcement officers as well.

"Right as the college and high schools get out is when we start seeing a lot of it. People start traveling around that time," Colorado State Patrol trooper Matt Jakopic said.

The Colorado State Patrol works to keep the roads safe, but the summer brings travelers, partiers and people in a rush behind the wheel.

"It seems to be a lot of the crashes are due to speed, people being in a little bit of a hurry," Jakopic said. "Alcohol also seems to be a factor in several crashes."

And accidents do happen. This week alone, there have been two fatal accidents in Grand Junction.

So while the summer is a time to enjoy the sun and have a good time with friends, just remember authorities will be out and fun can quickly turn to tragedy that will last longer than the summer sun.

"We have no problem with people getting together; it's the time of year," Marsh said.

The “Click It or Ticket” campaign ended last week for the Colorado State Patrol, the Fruita branch handed out the fourth most tickets for any agency in the state. Authorities remind drivers to buckle up and say watching your distance between you and the car in front of you is an easy way to reduce your chance of an accident.

Many law enforcement officials will be out in full force in the coming weeks with Country Jam and the Fourth of July. They will be on the lookout for all offenses, but will have a close eye watching for drunk drivers to speeding to underage drinking.

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