Six fatal crashes within the last three years qualifies the Delaware Police Department to be reimbursed for up to 700 hours of additional enforcement to target specific traffic safety issues.
Delaware City Council approved in May to apply for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program and Impaired Driving Enforcement Program, or STEP, and the Impaired Driving Enforcement Program grants from the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office for the fiscal year 2018.
“The STEP/IDEP grant application has been submitted to the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety and is under staff review within that office,” Delaware police Capt. Adam Moore said in an email to The Gazette.
If awarded, the grants would provide funds to reimburse city police officers for overtime and benefits related to working additional high visibility enforcement, or HVE, which is a universal approach in traffic safety designed to create a deterrence and change unlawful traffic behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving and failure to yield.
ODPS notified the city was eligible for the grants because it experienced an average of 2 or more crashes over the last three years. Delaware reported 2,256 crashes to the state from 2014 to 2016. During that period, 504 were injury-related, 118 related to drug or alcohol impairment and six fatal.
“Our crash numbers have tended to go up,” said Delaware police Chief Bruce Pijanowski at the May 22 council meeting.
The IDEP grant requires the department to conduct HVE activities between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Both programs include police campaigns on holidays or annual events such as Halloween, high school dances and the Super Bowl.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.