The Maricopa Police Department is accepting state grant money to assist in DUI enforcement and community education programs beginning this winter.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety GOHS) awarded the department a total of $63,348 for new equipment and traffic and driving-under-the-influence enforcement for 2017, the bulk of which is earmarked for officer overtime pay.
The city applied for the grants in October.
Of the funds, $20,000 is specifically designated for overtime compensation to help the department with DUI enforcement.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there were an estimated 1,200 alcohol-related traffic deaths during the 2015 holiday season (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day), a number these funds are designed to help curb.
An additional $4,300 is being awarded to purchase blood alcohol content, or BAC, testing equipment, including six new Preliminary Breath Testing (PBT) machines and a phlebotomist chair to aid with blood testing.
Another $27,718 of the GOHS grant will be used to assist with regular traffic enforcement. Most of that money will also go to overtime pay, however the department plans to use a portion of the funds to purchase additional radar systems and new communications antennas.
With remaining funds, the MPD plans to provide overtime for officer training and equipment purchases that will promote pedestrian/cycling safety education, and vehicle occupancy/Child Passenger Safety education.
According to the MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado, the city has benefited greatly from past GOHS grants, and their continued financial assistance is a reflection of the MPD’s performance.
“MPD has been fortunate enough over the years to receive multiple grants through GOHS,” Alvarado said. “This is in part due to the exceptional job our officers are doing, but also due to our ability to report results back to GOHS and show the funds are making a difference.”
Alvarado went on to say that with Maricopa’s continuing growth they will continue to partner with the GOHS, and others, to insure that the department will “grow efficiently, provide services to the community, and keep up with technological advances.”
Each fall the GOHS provides grants to qualifying police and fire departments across the state to assist overtime funding and equipment purchases that will promote public safety.