|From the Interstate 74 corridor that links Bettendorf and Moline to the Centennial |
and Interstate 280 bridges that link Davenport and Rock Island, local police officers,
sheriff’s deputies and federal agents issued hundreds of citations Friday night into
Saturday morning in one of the largest enforcement programs this year.
The tickets ranged from speeding to no insurance to failure to wear seat belts, to driving
while suspended, and, of course, drunken driving. There also were arrests for drug
possession, while some others were arrested on outstanding warrants.
“They’re just doing their job,” said Jeremy Padilla and Adam Seitz, who were pulled over
after police allegedly clocked the pair driving over the Centennial Bridge into Davenport
doing 48 mph in the 30 mph zone.
“At least my tax money is going somewhere good,” Seitz said.
At the Centennial Bridge enforcement site in Davenport, located in the parking lots of the
Scott County Family Y and Scott Community College at Gaines and 2nd streets, most of
the people caught speeding were doing between 40 mph and about 65 mph. However,
near the end of the enforcement program that ran from 11 p.m. Friday to about 3:30
a.m. Saturday, one driver was stopped after he was allegedly clocked going 85 mph
coming into Iowa.
“Over a year ago we had a double fatality on the bridge because of some very erratic
driving and people driving under the influence,” said Davenport police Capt. David
Struckman. “That is one of the reasons we’re here tonight, is to make sure people are
driving properly, staying within the limits, obeying the laws, and making it safe to enter
and exit Iowa.
“Of course, along with that, there are other things that have taken place, such as all the
shootings that have happened on both sides of the river and people using the bridges as
a path between the two states,” Struckman said. “We’re looking for any violations at all
that can lead to reducing crime. And that’s the main focus, to reduce crime. We’re not
picking on people; we’re picking on people violating the law.”
While the last such enforcement program in September was held on a Wednesday in
response to a particular crime pattern and police were looking primarily for guns and
drugs, Struckman said the enforcement effort this time was much broader.
Friday was chosen this time around because of the high traffic concentrations on the
bridges, he said.
Davenport police officers from the divisions of traffic enforcement, criminal investigations,
drug and gang task forces, as well as officials with the 7th Judicial District offices of
probation and parole, Scott County jailers, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, or ATF, and members of the Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group all
participated in the enforcement effort.
Also working the Davenport site were Rock Island police, Rock Island County Sheriff’s
deputies, Scott County Sheriff’s deputies, Blue Grass, Iowa, police, and Iowa State Patrol
While some drivers got their tickets and were then sent on their way, other vehicles
warranted closer inspection. Drug sniffing dogs were used extensively throughout the
Davenport police chief Frank Donchez said that in his last post in Bethlehem, Pa., he
participated in drunken driving check points, but he has not worked an enforcement effort
on such a large scale with so many departments.
“It’s impressive,” Donchez said. “The men and women have been working. They’ve been
working hard and it shows.
“It’s about safety,” Donchez said of the traffic enforcement. “If in the process we come
across drugs and guns and wanted persons, that’s an added benefit.”
Among the tickets issued for violations at the Davenport site, Struckman said officers
wrote 178 citations for speeding, 21 for no insurance, nine for drivers license violations,
33 for equipment violations and eight for driving while suspended or revoked.
Davenport officers also arrested seven people for operating while intoxicated, 10 people
for drug violations, and three people on outstanding warrants.
Anyone suspected of driving drunk was taken to a traffic enforcement officer who
performed a field sobriety test and a pre-breathalyzer test in the Y parking lot.
Final citation and arrest numbers from the Iowa State Patrol, Bettendorf Police, Illinois
State Police and other agencies were not available Saturday.