Group of officers discuss coordination efforts at DUI checkpoint, enhanced by mobile surveillance technology.

Enhanced DUI Checkpoints: Cleveland’s Advanced Overwatch Strategy

Law enforcement agencies routinely use DUI checkpoints (also known as sobriety checkpoints) to check drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment typically in high-traffic areas on holidays and weekends. The Cleveland Police Department partnered with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department and took a recent DUI checkpoint to the next level by deploying their Hitch-Mounted RATT vehicle mast and cloud-connected RQ621 mobile security camera kit.

According to Lt. Kody Fox, “On 12/15/23, the Cleveland Police Department collaborated with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department to assist in a DUI checkpoint, facilitated by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO). Utilizing The RATT system, we were able to provide complete overwatch of the checkpoint, spanning approximately a quarter mile. When potential offenders were identified through officer contact, we used The RATT system to record the entirety of their field sobriety testing and subsequent interactions with law enforcement. Since the checkpoint, we have been requested to use The RATT’s portable surveillance system on future THSO checkpoints around the state.”

With the expectation of a substantial influx of vehicles at the checkpoint, officers strategically employed The RATT for comprehensive oversight. This allowed them to observe and evaluate interactions between officers and potential offenders, ensuring a keen eye on ground-level situations. Simultaneously, The RATT mobile surveillance tower provided an aerial perspective, extending its surveillance capability to cover the entire quarter-mile radius of the checkpoint. This dual approach facilitated thorough monitoring, enhancing the officers’ situational awareness and enabling a more comprehensive assessment of the checkpoint’s surroundings and activities.

The integration of advanced technology like The RATT system into DUI checkpoints marks a significant step forward in law enforcement capabilities. By combining ground-level observation with aerial surveillance, officers can better manage and respond to incidents, ensuring a safer environment for both the public and law enforcement personnel. This innovative approach not only improves the efficiency and effectiveness of DUI checkpoints but also sets a new standard for future operations. The Cleveland Police Department’s success with the quick-deploy RATT demonstrates the potential for advanced technology to revolutionize traffic safety and enforcement strategies.

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