(West Columbia) - The West Columbia Department of Public Safety has received almost $200,000 from the Office of Highway Safety to employ two full time traffic officers, according to Chief Dennis Tyndall.

Tyndall says the department was awarded $198,242 that will not only pay the salaries of the officers, but will also provide the vehicles and equipment for the team.

The chief says the traffic officers will be focused on speed enforcement, enforcing child safety seats, and seatbelt laws. Tyndall says the officers will also be proactive in detecting drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs that may impair their driving.

Tyndall said that the new Traffic Enforcement Division began operations Friday.