NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) - People who drive on I-41 overnight in Northeast Wisconsin will soon see additional troopers patrolling the interstate.
The DOT announced, for the first time ever, the stretch of highway through Brown, Outagamie, Winnebago and Fond du Lac counties will be manned by troopers 24/7.
It's not unusual to see Wisconsin state troopers patrolling I-41 in during the day and into the evening hours. But, from 11pm to 7am, those patrols would be left up to the local police departments and county sheriff's offices. The State Patrol would only have troopers out, overnight, for special enforcements or high priority events -- until now.
"We looked at the number of vehicle miles traveled and the average annual daily traffic counts, a lot of those numbers we were seeing were similar to the traffic counts we're seeing in other major areas like Milwaukee and Madison," says Capt. Ryan Chaffee with the Wisconsin State Patrol.
So, with the extra traffic came safety concerns and that's why the decision was made to assign a team of eight troopers to the overnight shift to patrol I-41. There will be a minimum of four of those troopers out every night so the interstate will now have coverage around the clock.
According to Capt. Chaffee, "As we get new recruits coming through the academy, we're able to boost our numbers and reallocate those positions into the areas that need them and this was one of those areas so we're very excited that we're able to do this now."
The idea behind the increased patrols isn't to write more tickets or make more arrests, it simply was a safety concern.
Capt. Chaffee adds, "The impact that even a simple incident can have and the back up that can occur and the slow downs that can occur because of that and so we can to be able to put personnel out there in order to mitigate those problems."
The new overnight patrols start this Saturday at 11pm. Reporting in Fond du Lac County, Emily Matesic Action 2 News.