TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT Speeder deterrence is program's No. 1 goal
The program, which started last month, runs through August.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- The first month of a traffic enforcement program targeting neighborhood streets saw 60 citations for speed and 20 for seat-belt violations.
Police started the Neighborhood Traffic Enforcement Program in June to address residents' concerns about traffic offenses, particularly speeding, in township neighborhoods.
Chief Jeffrey Patterson launched the summer program using overtime dollars to target the problem. It will run through August.
Police say most of the complaints of speeding and other traffic violations in neighborhoods occur between 2 and 10 p.m., which is also the time the department receives many of its calls for service, limiting on-duty staff available to address the traffic.
Since its inception, officers working the special traffic details have targeted 19 streets where residents have complained of problems.
"We've gotten good feedback from the community," said Sgt. John Allsopp, the department's traffic officer.
Residents have learned about the program through media reports and then have seen it on their streets, he said.
"They see us in the neighborhood and they put two and two together and see that we're doing what we said we were going to do," Allsopp said. "People have approached the cruisers and thanked us for being there."
The first month saw 21 operations of four-hour special details. Officers conducted 153 traffic stops and issued 60 citations for speed, 19 for adult seat-belt violations and one child seat violation. Other citations included equipment warnings.
Although no arrests were made in the program's first month, police have said the added police presence could help deter crime. Officers will see the people going in and out of a neighborhood as well as being visible to would-be criminals.