- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Police officials in the metro area said yesterday more officers will be on patrol to keep a close watch on traffic and the national monuments, but they are not on heightened alert for a New Year's Eve terrorist attack.
"We're all in a heightened state of alert since 9/11, and we will maintain that through the holiday season," said Officer Kenneth Bryson, D.C. police spokesman.
Police across Maryland, Virginia and the District will set up sobriety checkpoints and are encouraging revelers to participate in Operation Sober Ride, a safety program that offers free cab rides to drinkers who have overindulged.
Maryland State Police will have more troopers on the roads, but they will not be stationed at checkpoints, Sgt. Thornnie Rouse said.
"We'll be all over interstates and country roads," he said. "I think the big focus for any department is to cut down on arrests, drunk driving and to try to save some lives."
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program again will offer free cab service throughout the District and surrounding counties.
The service is offered through the early morning hours. SoberRide is available by dialing 800/200-TAXI.
The District has no big party like the annual Times Square gathering in New York City, so it is a less-likely target for terrorism, Officer Bryson said, adding that officials have not received alerts about any New Year's terrorists threats.
Cpl. Robert Clark of the Prince George's County police said 10 squads staffed with about 30 additional officers will be on patrol "for the routine things that can happen."
U.S. Park Service and Capitol Hill police officials said they will be on routine patrol.
Virginia State Police will treat New Year's like other national holidays by focusing on general highway safety, said Sgt. Scott Edelman, a department spokesman. He declined to comment about specific anti-terrorist measures.

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