Highway safety grants will help traffic enforcement
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, email@example.com
Friday, October 9, 2009 11:48 PM CDT
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The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and three other local law enforcement agencies were awarded grants from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety totaling more than $54,000 to help police enforce traffic laws and curb serious accidents.
The sheriff’s office was presented with $36,055 in a ceremony Friday at the Warren County Courthouse.
The grant, which is federally funded and administrated through the state highway safety office, will fund Warren County’s “Empowerment through Enforcement” project, and will pay for 500 hours of overtime for deputies, five breathalyzers, three radar detectors and five in-car camera systems.
“It’s good to get this grant,” Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines said. “It gives our men an incentive to help them keep the roads safe.”
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said county governments often struggle to provide overtime pay for law enforcement, and their presence on the roads should help promote safer driving and fewer crashes.
“Having this extra money may very well make a difference in someone’s life,” Buchanon said.
Also receiving funding were the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, which got $7,000; the Franklin Police Department, which received $6,000; and the Russellville Police Department, which got $5,000.
Total highway fatalities have fluctuated each year this decade, from a low of 823 in 2000 to a high of 985 in 2005, according to information from the Office of Highway Safety.
There were 826 fatalities on Kentucky roads in 2008, and as of Friday, there were four fewer deaths in the state this year than at the same time last year.
Logan County Sheriff Wallace Whittaker said there have been 12 deaths on the roads so far this year in the county, and while he hopes the money will make a difference with added patrols and equipment, he expects motorists to do their part by wearing a seat belt.
“We will be sending more patrols out into the rural areas of the county where we have been having a lot of fatal (crashes)” Whittaker said. “We want to bring down the number of deaths and injuries from accidents.”