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Troopers prepared for opening of Suncoast Parkway

Published Sep. 9, 2005

When the Suncoast Parkway opens this weekend, area law enforcement agencies will be ready to take on any increased traffic problems, crashes and speeding violations, they said.

Although the Florida Highway Patrol will be the lead agency handling emergency calls, other agencies in Pasco and Hernando have offered to lend a hand.

"We're very prepared," said Trooper Jacqueline Freeman, patrol spokeswoman. "And we can always turn to the other agencies, just like they turn to us."

The job of handling crashes and doling out tickets falls primarily to the patrol because the parkway is a state road. The agency recently added a new trooper who will work out of Pasco County and another who will patrol Hernando County. Freeman said the additional staff was the result of a longstanding request for more personnel that just happened to coincide with the opening of the toll road.

Pasco County Fire Rescue will handle all medical and fire calls in its county. In Hernando, Spring Hill Fire Rescue will handle incidents south of Powell Road, and Hernando County Fire Rescue will answer emergencies north of Powell.