Patrolmen from the Brazil City Police Department took to the streets as part of Operation Pull Over from Nov. 13-27, issuing 94 tickets and warnings for traffic violations.
"With so many other calls to do during a regular patrol, it takes away from an officer's time for traffic duty," Police Chief Mark Loudermilk said. "They just can't concentrate on traffic issues."
Loudermilk told The Brazil Times that participation in the national Click it or ticket program allows the department to dedicate patrolmen solely to traffic duty in an effort to reduce impaired driving while enforcing Indiana's safety belt and child restraint laws.
A state-issued grant from the Click it or ticket program covers the cost of 35 hours of overtime and expense of gasoline incurred by four patrolmen of Brazil City Police Department during the first two-week blitz scheduled during 2006.
"The grant pays for the added expense to the department during the blitz time period. None of this comes out of the city's budget," Loudermilk said.
Each blitz consists of four weeks of an intense public awareness campaign followed by two weeks of increased law enforcement. The aim of the program is to reduce death, injury, property damage and economic cost associated with traffic crashes on Indiana's roadways.
"Every officer during the year will work an equal amount of hours on this program," he said of the department's participation in the other three blitzes scheduled for 2006. "It's really a great opportunity to be able to schedule a few hours each quarter to assign officers to just do this."
Participation in the program also has added benefits for the department and the public.
"I'm excited about equipment grants provided through the Operation Pull Over program," Loudermilk said of plans to apply for grants when they become available throughout the year. He hopes to acquire a radar unit ffor each of the five patrol cars that doesn't have one and a couple of portable hand-held breath testing units for sobriety tests in the field. "This saves taxpayers from purchasing the equipment. We could replace out-dated and order some new equipment through the program that would enable us to do our jobs better. "