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3 states to boost officers on the roads for holiday

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Law officers in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi will be out in unusually large numbers during Thanksgiving week under a tri-state "Take Back Our Highways" campaign to reduce traffic deaths and injuries during the busy holiday period.

The effort will be formally announced Thursday in Montgomery at a news conference at which Gov. Bob Riley will be joined by highway patrol chiefs from the three states as well as other law enforcement officials.

A news release Wednesday said that all available law enforcement officers from participating agencies will be on patrol duty Nov. 19-25.

'Joint initiative'

"This joint initiative is modeled after the successful `Take Back Our Highways' campaign earlier this year in Alabama. This latest traffic safety effort will include state troopers, county sheriffs and local police officers in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee," the news release from Riley's office said.

During the five-day blitz in August, state troopers gave out 26,126 tickets, including 11,931 for speeding and 4,995 for seat belt or child restraint violations. Some 17,991 of the arrests were described as hazardous.

For a comparable period in August 2006, with fewer officers on the highways, troopers issued a total 5,932 tickets.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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