DPS gets 7 cars to boost traffic enforcement

By Ferdie de la Torre
The Department of Public Safety has acquired seven new 2008 Ford Crown Victoria cars using federal grants to boost Saipan's traffic enforcement.

DPS Traffic Commander Sgt. Anthony Macaranas told Saipan Tribune that the cars were purchased using a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration grant.

Macaranas said these vehicles are now being used by traffic officers for their Driving While Under the Influence and Selective Traffic Law Enforcement operations.

“The main purpose is just to go out there and saturate the areas where there is a problem with road racing, aggressive drivers, crash prone areas,” he said.

Macaranas said they bought the new cars and other equipment so officers could help reduce the number of crashes and aggressive drivers.

He said DPS acquired the grant by sending statistics to the NHTSA Region 9 related to traffic citations, crashes, fatalities and drunk drivers in the CNMI.

“We made our request for equipment, trainings and that's where [Region 9] approved the grant request,” the officer explained.

With the new cars and other equipment, Macaranas said the department projects beefing up its traffic enforcement actions by next year.

DPS also received this year through federal grants two sports utility vehicles-a Chevrolet Trailblazer and a Ford Expedition-that are now assigned to the Traffic Investigation Unit.

DPS has vowed to intensify its law enforcement patrols this holiday season to prevent alcohol-related vehicular crashes.

The department recently launched the annual Drunk and Drugged Driving prevention program campaign to intensify the fight against impaired driving.