Monday, October 5, 2009

Good News!

Sheriff’s office receives traffic safety grants
POSTED: October 5, 2009

LISBON - Columbiana County Sheriff's deputies will be able to spend 1,100 hours over the next 12 months keeping an eye out for drunken drivers and other traffic offenders.

The sheriff's office learned Friday it has received a $47,435 federal grant through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office for federal fiscal year 2010, which began Oct. 1. The sheriff's office has received similar traffic safety grants in the past but never in this large of an amount.

Lt. Brian McLaughlin of the sheriff's office said the money will be used to pay deputies to work overtime on specific traffic details in the days immediately before and after every major holiday.

"Mostly, it's for around the holidays, but there are other key dates" when driving risks increase, he said, such as high school proms and homecoming football games, St. Patrick's Day and the Super Bowl. Extra patrols will be working on those dates as well.

The sheriff's office drafted a list of particular areas of the county where it will assign deputies during these special traffic details. McLaughlin said the money is expected to be enough to pay for 1,100 hours of overtime, plus about $2,000 for fuel reimbursement.

The grant program requires the sheriff's office to compile a daily activity report listing such things as how many vehicles were stopped and how many tickets issued. Although drunken driving will be their main thrust, the deputies will be watching for other traffic offenses, such as speeding.

Records show there were 44 alcohol-related fatalities in the county between 2006 and 2008. Overall fatalities in Ohio have decreased over the same period, from 1,239 in 2006 to 1,191 last year.

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