Police to be out in force during Water Follies

Law enforcement will be out in force this weekend during Water Follies.

Officers from Kennewick, Pasco and other area agencies will patrol both sides of the river during the three-day event, while troopers conduct extra speed, DUI and aggressive driving patrols on the highways.

"We're going to adopt the same mission as Walt Disney World: 'We're here to create smiles,' " said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin. "But, if somebody needs our attention, we'll be there to take them to jail."

Officers aren't trying to get in the way of the fun, but Lattin said they will strictly enforce the no-alcohol rule, so that means alcohol can only be consumed in designated areas.

Washington State Patrol troopers will begin their traffic safety emphasis patrols tonightto ensure that people stay safe once they leave the park.

They'll be looking for dangerous speeders, impaired or aggressive drivers and motorists not wearing seat belts.

Airplanes, motorcycles and unmarked cruisers will be used, along with the agency's Mobile Impaired Driving Unit, which helps speed up the process of booking DUI drivers.

Drivers should remember the main entrance to Columbia Park on Highway 240 will be closed from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vehicles are not allowed to stop on the highway.

There will, however, be a pick-up spot this year in the park near the Playground of Dreams. Taxis and transit buses also are available.

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com