Sky Troopers | VideoEvan Kruegel | 8/30/2012
"It provides us a private vantage point, people tend to behave when they know there`s a squad car around, but we want to observe their behavior when they don`t know they`re being watched."
The plane does have radar capabilities. But on this day, it`s not speeders they`re after.
"Speed is still a major contributing factor to crashes in the state. But today, we`re working on trying to enforce the right of way violations at intersections in order to make those intersections safer," said Skogen.
The target today was a stop sign eight miles West of Williston. Vehicles turning right blatantly disregarded the stop sign over and over.
"We`ve got three officers working it, plus the officer up in the aircraft. And we`ve been keeping busy. We`re writing citations about as fast as he can call them down."
When the airplane sees a vehicle run the stop sign, he relays the message to squad cars waiting a mile down the road. They patiently wait to pull over the unsuspecting violator.
"There`s a tremendous amount of traffic out here that wasn`t here just five years ago, and the roadways were probably not designed for this type of numbers. So you`re seeing people that are becoming impatient, and when you start to become impatient, you start to take shortcuts. Whether that`s speeding, not stopping at stop signs, trying to pass when you don`t know if it`s safe to pass, all of those little shortcuts are proving to have pretty disastrous consequences,Ē said Skogen.
Officers hope the plane will serve as a constant reminder that at any moment, you could be watched.