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Ride along with a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy as 6-agency traffic safety enforcement gets underway

(Update: Adding video, comment from Sheriff's deputy, Bend P.D.)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For three mornings this week, there are a few more police and sheriff’s cars on Deschutes County's roads, looking for drivers not following the rules.

Deputy Evan Kennedy was one of a few extra patrols on the roads Tuesday morning.

 “You'll see of more of the presence of law enforcement on Central Oregon's roadways,” Kennedy told NewsChannel 21 during a ride-along on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, and for two more mornings, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police and the Bend, Redmond, Sunriver and Black Butte Ranch police departments are conducting a traffic safety detail.

 “We're looking for people to slow down,” Kennedy said of the detail’s goal.

They’re also looking for distracted drivers, too.

The agencies announced this detail several days ago, and Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said that’s because the public asks for them.

“Part of the reason we do these traffic details is because we hear from the public that they want more traffic enforcement,” Miller said.

 NewsChannel 21 rode along with Deputy Kennedy to see how it happens.

It didn’t take long for him to make a traffic stop after watching a car coming down Highway 97 northbound at 80 mph.

They use LIDAR speed guns now, which Kennedy used to pick up one car’s speed from more than a quarter-mile away.

Kennedy and Miller did dispel one myth about these details.

“We don’t have any sort of monthly quotas,” Kennedy said of the sheriff’s office.

Miller added of her department: “We don’t have a quota that we need to meet.”

It’s not about writing tickets, Kennedy said -- it’s about educating drivers.

And some appreciate it, even those who run afoul of it.

“I am so glad that you are doing this,” one driver told Kennedy as she was pulled over for being on her phone.

“The goal with all of our contacts is to have them thank you after we’re done,” Kennedy said.

Thanking him for a lesson that hopefully can save lives.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

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