Saturday, November 1, 2014

Amateur radio operators support the Halloween Pumpkin Patrol

New York State Police Troop T and citizen volunteers conducted their 38th annual "Pumpkin Patrol" aimed at preventing Halloween pranks and protecting motorists along the New York State Thruway on October 30th and 31st.

In Onondaga County over 20 amateur radio operators manned the bridges on both nights. In Cayuga County over 10 amateur radio operators manned the bridges on Friday night.  Amateur Radio operators in almost every upstate county along the Thruway participated again this year.Thanks to all who gave up their evenings for this important project.

“I commend Troop T and our committed volunteers for their efforts in helping to prevent the threat of dangerous pranks during the Halloween weekend on our roadways,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison. “These patrols help to further emphasize the importance of safety and reliability on the New York State Thruway by offering extra assistance to protect the well-being of all motorists.”

Patrols consisted of Troop T officers, as well as local radio clubs, and amateur radio operators. This year, volunteer groups from 15 different organizations spanning across 19 counties in New York State joined in the Pumpkin Patrol safety initiative. Volunteers assisting Troop T monitored Thruway overpasses and reported any unusual activity to State Police or local law enforcement.

The Pumpkin Patrol was initiated as a volunteer effort in 1976 by Katherine St. Jacques in Fort Johnson, Montgomery County.  Ms. St. Jacques was talking to a truck driver on her citizens band radio when the windshield of his vehicle was struck by an object thrown from an overpass.  The driver sustained injuries from the broken glass of his windshield.  St. Jacques and two companions decided to stand watch on the three over passes that crossed the Thruway in the Fort Johnson area.
The State Police assumed control of the Pumpkin Patrol in 1990 as part of the State Police crime prevention effort.  More than 300 volunteers will participate in this year’s safety efforts.

- Press release from the NY State Police Troop T Public Information Officer Trooper Matthew Izbicki.
- CNY Central
- WSYR News Channel 9
- local  Amateur radio operators

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