The New York State Thruway Authority announced today that on Oct, 30 and 31, New York State Police Troop T and citizen volunteers will conduct the 40th annual "Pumpkin Patrol," aimed at preventing Halloween pranks and protecting motorists along the New York State Thruway.

“Reckless shenanigans can lead to dangerous conditions on the road and cause disruptions for motorists,” said Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch. “The joint effort by Troop T and the dedicated volunteers across New York State will be essential to ensuring our roadway remains safe during Halloween weekend.”

State Police Troop T, whose members patrol the Thruway exclusively, support this effort along with local citizen band radio clubs and amateur radio operators. This year, more than 300 volunteers from 16 different organizations spanning across 20 counties in New York State will join in the Pumpkin Patrol safety initiative. 

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Volunteers assisting Troop T will monitor Thruway overpasses and report any unusual activity to State Police or local law enforcement.

State Police Troop T Commander, Major Joseph W. Dodd said, “Troopers will be out in full force to help minimize any potential hazards to motorists by monitoring any unusual activity, plus patrolling roads and bridges.  As part of this effort, Troop T will also patrol for intoxicated drivers, move over law violators, in addition to the continued enforcement of speeding vehicles, seat belt and cell phone violators.”

The Pumpkin Patrol was initiated as a volunteer effort in 1976 by Katherine St. Jacques in Fort Johnson, Montgomery County.  Ms. St. Jacques was talking to a truck driver on her citizen’s band radio when the windshield of his vehicle was struck by an object thrown from an overpass.  The driver sustained injuries from the broken glass. St. Jacques and two companions decided to stand watch on the three overpasses that crossed the Thruway in the Fort Johnson area. 

The State Police assumed control of the Pumpkin Patrol in 1990 as part of its crime prevention efforts.