Lawmen Learn to Expect Danger on Interstate 95
Posted September 24, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
CUMBERLAND COUNTY — For years, Interstate 95 has been known as a dangerous drug corridor, from Florida through North Carolina and north to New York. Lawmen who patrol the interstate say they know any stop could be their last.
"The most important thing that we tell our troopers is that they go home at the end of the shift to see their family." Sergeant R.E. Clendenin says.
State troopers who patrol Interstate 95 are told to treat every stop as though they're facing an assault or dangerous action.
"You may be stopping somebody who has already determined in his mind that he has a large amount of cash or he's carrying drugs and he's going to get from point A to point B no matter what happens," the State Trooper explains.
"The violator has the advantage over the officer," Clendenin says. "He knows his plans. He knows what he's going to do. The trooper has to sit back and watch and evaluate and then determine his action."
Troopers say the attacks on lawmen are a wake-up call, reminding them just how careful they need to be.
"Sometimes troopers are like anybody else. They'll fall back into the daily routine. It takes the tragic thing that happened on I-95 in Robeson County to sharpen us back up, to make us more aware of what potentially could happen out there," Clendenin says.
Troopers say no matter how many lawmen are shot or killed, another officer will be out that same night, and the next day, patrolling to make sure the interstate is safe for law-abiding citizens.