Fort Hood’s garrison command sergeant major is cautioning soldiers and their families to enjoy the holidays responsibly, and avoid drinking and driving.
In an op-ed published in the Fort Hood Sentinel on Thursday, Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Gault revealed the installation experienced 252 reported drinking and driving-related incidents involving soldiers or Army civilians in and around Fort Hood during fiscal year 2013.
Gault also said 108 of those incidents, nearly 50 percent, occurred on the installation. Last year, six Fort Hood soldiers were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents, Gault wrote.
“During this holiday season, don’t be ‘that guy’; if you are going to drink alcohol, do so responsibly and in moderation,” Gault wrote.
Those who do drink and drive risk a run-in with officers from Fort Hood’s Directorate of Emergency Services.
Spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Caylor said there would be “selective enforcement in some areas” by DES officers.
In addition to keeping the roads safe on post, Caylor said the DES would also implement its “House Watch” program, which allows Fort Hood police to conduct checks on homes for individuals and families while they are away for the holidays.
“Registering for (the program) means someone will come by three items each day to check on your home,” he said.
More Killeen patrols
Off post, the Killeen Police Department will again increase patrols during the holiday season.
The department will have extra patrols on the lookout for speeders and impaired drivers, according to the department. The extra patrols are a result of KPD’s participation in a Texas Department of Transportation-funded grant known as the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program.
According to information from TxDOT, the department was approved for a $81,600 STEP grant this year, which will be used to conduct selective traffic enforcement activities through September. The Killeen City Council approved an additional $51,043, bringing the total to $132,643.
Officers working with the STEP program will focus on those who are exceeding the speed limit and arresting intoxicated drivers who are presenting a hazardous risk, according to KPD.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.