LAKE COUNTY — The Lake County Road Commission (LCRC) is joining forces with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to increase commercial vehicle enforcement services in Lake County.

Along with three road commission members already certified as weighmasters, three LCSO deputies also will receive training in mid-January. Upon completion of the training, the deputies also will become certified.

Weighmasters, a position overseen by the LCRC for decades, regulates heavy commercial vehicles coming through the county.

“This is adding an extra tool to our tool box by cooperating with the sheriff’s office to bring a better program to Lake County,” said Lake County Road Commission Manager Steve Leonard. “With the sheriff’s office joining forces, they can enforce the legal side of weighmaster services such as dealing with speeding, running names to check for arrest warrants and inspecting the vehicles. Basically, the weighmasters on the sheriff’s office would be like in-house state police, with functions currently overseen by the Michigan State Police.”

Leonard said the LCRC still will do their part of weighmaster services, but they cannot enforce the law.

“As weigh masters, we have been able to control and regulate commercial vehicles, but we are allowed to do so at certain levels, such as pulling them over and weighting them, issuing driveway permits, dealing with loggers, but we cannot touch legal enforcement for speeding tickets. We are working with the sheriff’s office to put together a good program to take care of roads in Lake County.”

Leonard said the six weighmasters will have different shift, so there will always be “eyes” out there.

Sheriff Rich Martin is looking forward to the collaboration.

“I am excited by the offer from the road commission,” he said. “By sending some of the road deputies through the state motor carrier school, we will be able to provide an enhanced patrol service. Your regular patrol officer generally does not know the ins and outs of commercial vehicle enforcement. This additional knowledge will be a solution to that. The complaints to my office have been on the rise relating to tractor-trailer issues. We will now be on the forefront to resolve these complaints.”