47th Annual “Pumpkin Patrol” Safeguards New York State Thruway on Halloween

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(WNY News Now) – New York State Police Troop T, alongside dedicated citizen volunteers, gears up for their 47th annual “Pumpkin Patrol” to protect motorists and deter Halloween pranks along the New York State Thruway on October 31st.

New York – The New York State Police Troop T is partnering with citizen volunteers to execute their time-honored tradition, the “Pumpkin Patrol,” on October 30th and 31st, aimed at ensuring the safety of motorists and preventing Halloween-related mischief along the New York State Thruway.

State Police Troop T, responsible for exclusive Thruway patrolling, collaborates with local citizen band radio clubs and amateur radio operators. This year, over 200 volunteers from a multitude of organizations spanning 20 counties in New York State will join forces for the Pumpkin Patrol safety initiative. Their mission is to monitor Thruway overpasses, reducing potential hazards to motorists, and promptly reporting any suspicious activities to the State Police or local law enforcement.

In addition to safeguarding against Halloween pranks, Troop T will conduct thorough patrols for intoxicated drivers, enforce the “move over” law, and continue their efforts to combat speeding, seat belt, and cell phone violations on the Thruway.

The origins of the Pumpkin Patrol date back to 1976 when Katherine St. Jacques, a resident of Fort Johnson, Montgomery County, initiated this volunteer effort. The catalyst for this initiative was a harrowing incident where a truck driver, conversing on his citizen’s band radio, had his windshield struck by an object thrown from an overpass. The driver suffered injuries from shattered glass. In response, St. Jacques and two companions decided to keep vigil on the three overpasses that spanned the Thruway in the Fort Johnson area.

In 1990, the New York State Police took over the administration of the Pumpkin Patrol, integrating it into their comprehensive crime prevention efforts.

The “Pumpkin Patrol” continues to be a vital community initiative, uniting law enforcement and citizens in the pursuit of a safe and prank-free Halloween for all those traveling the New York State Thruway.

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