With threat of ice and snow looming, officers ask residents to take heed of the warnings

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — With the looming chance of ice and snow, the Arab Police Department is asking people to help its officers help others if the weather gets messy.

It takes a lot of Arab Police officers to patrol, handle calls, and respond during a snow and ice event, and the department is relatively small with a big jurisdiction.

“Our call volume increases dramatically during that time, and it’s usually because people are getting out on these roadways that are not passable and they’re trying to drive on them, and they really don’t need to,” explains Assistant Chief Shane Washburn.

Washburn says the department wants residents to listen to ice and snow warnings when they get them. “If we do have a winter event to where the roads are icy, or snowy, or whatever reason, and they’re very hazardous, please stay off of them unless it’s an emergency,” Washburn says.

The department is stretched to its limits during that type of event, responding to calls of accidents, stranded motorists, and vehicles that have slid down the hilly terrain. “So it makes it really, really tough sometimes to just perform our job effectively,” said Washburn.

We don’t get ice and snow events often like other states, so driving in it isn’t familiar for most of us. Police say even a four-wheel-drive vehicle unequipped for snow and ice isn’t safe, and the hills and valleys around Arab make for slick going when that weather hits.

Arab officers say residents can help them be more efficient by taking the warnings to heart.

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