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Call named patrol post commander

Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

SOUTH POINT, Ohio -- Promoting highway safety including reducing injury crashes and fatalities on Lawrence County roads are among the priorities of Lt. Barry Call, Ironton patrol post commander.

Call, a Gallia County native, has spent 21 years with the highway patrol including about 15 in his native Gallia County. He has served as post commander in Ironton for about two months. The Ironton post has 13 troopers, three sergeants and one lieutenant. The post could get another sergeant by the end of the summer.

In addition to focusing on reducing crashes, Call also will have troopers concentrate on enforcing drunk driving laws and also focusing on drug enforcement.

"We're sharing intelligence with local law enforcement agencies on drug cases," Call said. While the primary focus of the patrol is highway safety, troopers are making more and more drug arrests. A number of arrests are coming following traffic stops around the Buckeye State.

Ohio was the 48th state to add drug-recognition training in the past few years, according to The Associated Press. The training goes beyond sobriety tests to teach officers to be certified drug-recognition experts. While a drunken driver might slur his words and have slow reactions, a drug-impaired person might appear jittery.

"I've been getting settled in," Call said. "I like the area here. It's similar to Gallia County."

"We have a lot of rear-end collisions in the Burlington area," Call said. "There's so much traffic there. It's a difficult area to work in. We plan to focus on that area a lot in November and December. We'll be assigning more troopers to patrol there."

The Ironton post is similar to the post in Gallipolis, Call said. "We deal with a lot of unsafe speeds and failure to yield," he said. "Distracted driving also is a problem."

"We're assisting other agencies," Call said. "We want to work with West Virginia and Kentucky authorities. With all the bridges, the area is interconnected."

Call replaced Lt. Mike Gore.