Police Try to Make Roads Safer

Police Try to Make Roads Safer

It's the Wichita Falls Police Department's job to keep you safe no matter where you are at and that includes when you are in your car. That is why the police department applies for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program also known as S.T.E.P.

Sergeant John Spragins said "S.T.E.P. is a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program that is a grant that is issued by the state and we apply for the grant."

The grant allows the police department to pay their officers overtime while they patrol the streets. Sergeant Van Dotson said the police department gets $110,000 from S.T.E.P.

Spragins said "The main concentration is on hazardous moving violations. You know speed, intersections, running red lights or stop signs. Things that we would call hazardous."

But police officers look for more than just hazardous violations. They also look for safety belt and child restraint offenses. The third quarter of S.T.E.P. ended on June 30th and the numbers definitely reflect their efforts.

Spragins said "If you look at the numbers. The numbers are fairly close. There is a slight reduction in some areas and there is a slight increase in some areas over the last two quarters. But the main thing is we want to make the streets as safe as possible for the citizens of Wichita Falls."

The Wichita Falls Police Department does not receive the S.T.E.P. grant every year but when they do it definitely has a positive impact on our city.

Spragins said "Anything that we can do to reduce the hazards on the road has got to have a positive impact on the city. And that's what we are doing. We are reducing the hazards on the road."

S.T.E.P. is paid with federal funding and when federal funding is low the larger cities get first priority. The police department did not receive the grant in 2011.

Van Dotson said the police department did apply for S.T.E.P. for the fiscal year of 2014 but they have not heard back.

James Parish Newschannel 6