Pumpkin Patrol conducted with no reported incidents

FORT JOHNSON — Thruway Authority, State Police Troop T along with volunteers conducted the 42nd annual “Pumpkin Patrol” on Tuesday and Wednesday without any incidents.

The Pumpkin Patrol is aimed at preventing Halloween pranks and protecting motorists along the New York State Thruway.

According to a press release, joint efforts by Troop T and dedicated volunteers across the state are essential to ensuring roadways remain safe during Halloween weekend.

“I didn’t hear of any incidents,” said State Police Troop T Public Information Officer Michael Cassella.

Supporting the Pumpkin Patrol efforts are state police Troop T members who patrol the Thruway exclusively along with local citizen band radio clubs and amateur radio operators. This year about 300 volunteers from 16 different organizations spanning across 20 counties in the state participated in the Pumpkin Patrol safety initiative.

Volunteers who assisted Troop T monitored thruway overpasses and reported any unusual activity to state police or local law enforcement.

State police were out monitoring any unusual activity and patrolling roads and bridges to help minimize potential hazards to motorists. Troop T was also patrolling for any intoxicated drivers, move over law violators, in addition to the continued enforcement of speeding vehicles, seat belt and cell phone violators.

“There was no unusual activity,” Cassella said. “Troopers didn’t have anything to report on.”

The Pumpkin Patrol began in 1976 by Katherine St. Jacques in Fort Johnson as a volunteer effort. St. Jacques was talking to a truck driver on her citizen’s band radio when the truck driver’s windshield was struck by an object thrown from an overpass. The driver sustained injuries from the broken glass. St. Jacques and two companions decided to stand watch on the three overpasses that crossed the Thruway in the Fort Johnson area.

Cassella said the initiative has been successful over the years.

In 1990, state police assumed control of the Pumpkin Patrol as part of its crime prevention efforts.

“State police are the governing law enforcement on the thruway which is how we assumed control,” Cassella said.

By Josh Bovee

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