$282,000 from feds to MPD

Comments 0 | Recommend 0 Stimulus money will pay for full-time traffic officer

July 29, 2009 12:33:00 AM

By Nancy Pasternack/Appeal-Democrat
The Marysville Police Department has been awarded $282,000 in federal grant money to re-establish a traffic safety bureau.
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding allows for up to $1 billion, nationwide, for hiring or rehiring of career law enforcement officers through part of the Department of Justice COPS Hiring Recovery Program.
Marysville's share, announced Tuesday, will fund one full-time traffic officer for three years, according to Sgt. John Osbourn.
The city had been the recipient of a state traffic safety grant that funded two motorcycle traffic officer jobs. That grant expired in 2007.
"Ever since that loss of personnel, we have had a hard time catching violators," said Capt. Mike Wilson. "And the overwhelming amount of traffic we have to deal with (on Marysville highways) creates significant problems for us daily."
Redflex red light cameras were installed at three intersections in 2005. The combination of cameras and the two traffic officers, Wilson said, had been effective in policing the thousands of motorists who passed through the city during the two years when both traffic officers and cameras were employed.
City officials recently approved an extension of Marysville's Redflex contract and an expansion of the program to include three more red light cameras.
The prospect of adding a new officer to traffic enforcement efforts in the city, Wilson said, is a welcome one.
More than 300 law enforcement agencies in California applied for CHRP grant money to fund additional officers. Of those agencies, 95 were awarded funds for a total of 270 new or rehired officers.
Funding awards, according to a Department of Justice Web site, were made based on an agency's budget, locally generated revenues, general fund balances for the last three fiscal years, unemployment, foreclosure and poverty rates, and factors related to law enforcement personnel numbers.
Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Nancy Pasternack at 749-4712 or at npasternack@appealdemocrat.com.