Police keep traffic flowing smoothly
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - State Police stayed busy Monday as Boy Scouts and their families began pouring into the region for the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fayette and Raleigh counties.
About 100 troopers directed traffic into and standing watch over the entrances to the 10,600-acre Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve where Scouts from all over the world began to gather Monday.
More than 40,000 Scouts are expected to attend the event, which kicks off today.
"We're doing all kinds of road work," said Sgt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman. "We're doing traffic work at different spots in the area and we're stationed at different points of entry for security reasons of course.
"We want to ensure traffic is flowing as smoothly as it can."
And it had been flowing smoothly all day, he said. No wrecks were reported in the area.
State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers encourages drivers to use common sense and courtesy if they're on the roads in the area this week, Baylous said.
"There's a lot of people traveling who may not be familiar with the area," Baylous said. "They may not know exactly where they need to be. So we need to be understanding of that."
Baylous said troopers working at the Jamboree had come from detachments around the state, including those from the South Charleston headquarters and those from Turnpike patrol, to help with the influx of traffic. Some of the troopers are on regular duty while others are on overtime.
"We're not going to draw so heavily from one area that we leave them with no police protection," Baylous said.
Troopers also received help from officers from surrounding states. Baylous said the Pennsylvania State Police, Virginia State Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol each sent eight to 10 officers to help with the large crowds.
The Kentucky State Police sent about a dozen troopers.
Baylous said the out-of-state troopers were helping direct traffic and also were working entry points. He said the officers had been deputized so that they could help local troopers if a situation arose.
Baylous said the presence of out-of-state troops could even aid those agencies in recruiting future officers.
Troopers will be working at the event through the week.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.