Thursday, March 15, 2012
Cops dress as leprechauns to catch bad guys!
There’s no pot of gold at the end of the crosswalk.
But safety is a beautiful thing, and that’s what an oversized leprechaun hoped to find on the other side of crosswalks Tuesday around the Las Vegas Valley.
The green-clad figure straight from Irish folklore — Metro Police Officer Michael Lemley in disguise — called on the luck of his ancestors as he braved the treacherous crosswalks.
The pedestrian safety awareness event, organized by Metro, began at 8 a.m. at a crosswalk near Charleston Boulevard and Eighth Street, south of downtown, said Erin Breen, director of UNLV’s Safe Community Partnership.
“He’s already been almost killed twice,” Breen said mid-morning. “This is a nasty intersection.”
As Lemley walks through the crosswalk, he takes note of motorists breaking traffic laws, specifically related to the crosswalk, and calls to officers stationed nearby. Violators could face tickets.
After lunch, the group moved to a crosswalk near Arville Street and Sirius Avenue in the western valley. They planned to return to the Charleston Boulevard and Eighth Street crosswalk later Tuesday afternoon.
The awareness event comes amid high year-to-date traffic fatalities, Evans said.
Four pedestrians have died this year in Clark County compared with two people this time last year, she said. In addition, 20 vehicle occupants have died in accidents this year in Clark County — 15 more than this time last year, Evans said.
Metro chooses the crosswalks based on complaints from the public paired with the number of traffic incidents at each location, Breen said. In the past, Lemley has donned turkey and Santa suits to drive home the same message.