Truckee police receive state grant for traffic patrols |

Truckee police receive state grant for traffic patrols

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun File PhotoTruckee Police officer Bryan Berry speaks during Driven, a drunk driving prevention program at Truckee High School, last school year. A new state grant will help pay for traffic education programs similar to Driven.

Thanks to a state public-safety grant, the Truckee Police Department plans to increase traffic enforcement and education.

The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded the $315,000 grant to provide Truckee police with the resources to address some of the traffic problems in the mountain community.

“There have been a rising number of traffic complaints we have received over the years,” said Truckee Police Lt. Hardwood Mitchell. “We need a full-time traffic officer in the field to address these issues.”

Grant directors said the money will also fund officer training on DUI and drug detection, and continued DUI checkpoints in the Truckee area.

“Not catching DUI drivers in the checkpoints is not necessarily a bad thing, because we’re still able to educate the public by handing out brochures and providing information about drunk driving,” Mitchell said in a phone interview Friday.

Additionally, the funds will provide more traffic-safety education in local schools, as well as the continuation of the 15-minute program ” a campaign aimed at educating teens on the dangers of drunk driving.

The town agency will also use the funds to add a new all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger sedan to the fleet, and to pay for the salary of a new traffic enforcement officer.

The department selected Officer Jeremy Elliot to fill the new patrol position due to his expertise in traffic safety, Mitchell said.

“This grant will help make Truckee just that much safer of a place to live and work,” said police traffic safety Director Christopher J. Murphy. “When more people drive sober and safely, we save lives and families ” it’s just that simple.”

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