The Leitchfield Police Department received, in late March, a $6,000 highway safety grant to help fund its participation in the upcoming Click It or Ticket and Impaired Driving Enforcement programs.
“Our goals [with these programs] are to increase overall statewide belt usage…and decrease the number of alcohol impaired injury crashes,” said Assistant Chief of Police David Riley.
$2,000 of the “mini grant” will go toward Click It or Ticket, which will take place from Tuesday, May 20 to Tuesday, June 17, according to Riley.
2014 will be the fifth year the LPD has participated in Click It or Ticket, and the agency’s goal is to raise Leitchfield’s seatbelt usage percentage from 84% to 85%.
Drivers’ and passengers’ wearing their seatbelts is important, not only because it’s the law, but also because, statistically, “you have a better chance of surviving a vehicle accident, if you’re wearing your seatbelt,” said Riley.
During Click It or Ticket, the number of officers on patrol in Leitchfield may be doubled to better observe whether citizens are obeying the seatbelt law.
The typical LPD shift has two or three police officers; however, during the campaign, up to five or six officers may be on patrol, according to Riley.
The remaining $4,000 of the mini grant will help fund overtime for the increased manpower during the impaired driving enforcement program, which will be held from Wednesday, June 18 to Tuesday, Sept. 2, Riley said.
“During these campaigns, we will be saturating the streets,” he said. “These guys will be writing tickets.”
The LPD also, on March 7, applied for a full highway safety grant totalling approximately $48,287.
$33,000 of the full grant will be used for salaries, benefits, and overtime for Leitchfield police officers; $13,885 of the grant will fund the purchase of six in-car, mobile radar units; and $500 of the grant will fund the cost of officers’ attending The Kentucky Lifesavers Conference in Louisville.
The LPD has applied for a number of grants for bulletproof vests and other equipment, as well.