As the height of the summer vacation season strikes, safety officials are putting an emphasis on speed enforcement. The Owatonna Police Department is part of the campaign and "will be spending extra time educating and stopping speeders who jeopardize innocent lives. If you speed expect to be stopped." according to a news release from the department.

Seventy-five speed-related deaths on Minnesota roads through June 30 is the highest number in years. "While many Minnesotans take driving smart seriously, some fell into poor driving habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those bad decisions continue as restrictions end." The death toll in recent years through the end of June includes 49 in 2020, 29 in 2019, 54 in 2018 and 42 in 2017.

The extra enforcement period continues through the end of July. Officers also encourage drivers to give themselves a three-second buffer behind the car in front of them.

New Officer Welcomed to the Force

In Just the Facts, the Owatonna Police Department e-newsletter, they welcome their newest officer, Matthew Lounsbury, "Matthew is originally from the east coast and the son of a current police officer serving in Massachusetts. This is Matthew's first law enforcement job; however, he has previous experience in loss prevention."

Owatonna police announce the return of the Night to Unite. The "community and nation-wide event will be held Tuesday, August 3."

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