Albany officers dress as panhandlers to catch distracted drivers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany officers dress as panhandlers to catch distracted drivers

Officers were out on Thursday, looking for distracted drivers, but you may not have recognized them. (Source: Albany Police Department) Officers were out on Thursday, looking for distracted drivers, but you may not have recognized them. (Source: Albany Police Department)
The officers held signs, clearly stating what they were up to. (Source: WALB) The officers held signs, clearly stating what they were up to. (Source: WALB)
When they saw a driver texting or someone not wearing a seat belt, they radioed to a squad car to pull them over. (Source: WALB) When they saw a driver texting or someone not wearing a seat belt, they radioed to a squad car to pull them over. (Source: WALB)
Lt. William Dowdell (Source: WALB) Lt. William Dowdell (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police used a little trickery to catch distracted drivers on Thursday.

A couple of officers posed as panhandlers near the busy intersection of Gillionville Road and Slappey Boulevard.

When they saw a driver texting or someone not wearing a seat belt, they radioed to a squad car to pull them over.

"We want to remind the public that texting while driving is illegal, uh, distracted driving such as eating food items, not paying attention to what you're doing, those are also illegal. And we need to pay close attention. We are having crashes where distracted driving is an issue," said Lt. William Dowdell with the Albany Police Department.

The officers held signs, clearly stating what they were up to, but they said that most drivers didn't notice.

On Thursday, they wrote 36 citations for offenses including seat belt, texting and distracted driving violations.

The Special Operations Division is planning similar efforts at other busy intersections in town.

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