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MCSO awarded over $200,000 in grants for traffic enforcement programs


NORTH VALLEY – The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded over $200,000 in grants from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The money will be used by MCSO for a variety of traffic enforcement programs.

“We thank GOHS for making Maricopa County safety a major priority,” said Sheriff Paul Penzone in a news release sent out Monday. “These dollars directly impact the people we serve by providing safer vehicle travel.”

The GOHS dollars cover four areas:

1. $113,207 for enforcement of DUI laws, DUI Equipment, Drug Recognition Training, Detention Support for Task Forces and Youth Alcohol Enforcement and Education. These funds will help Deputies and Detention Officers with overtime pay and equipment as they support the East Valley and West Valley DUI holiday season task forces. In 2016, this money funded 48 nights of Task Force Operations, which resulted in 322 Misdemeanor and 55 Felony DUI arrests. 50 of these drivers were impaired by drugs.

This grant also contributes to teaching and certification of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). The DRE program aids in the detection and identification of drug impaired drivers. MCSO and its DREs are known as a premier program.

2. $35,000 to purchase state of the art speed detection equipment and fund overtime costs for Deputies conducting traffic enforcement throughout Maricopa County. Deputies will utilize state of the art equipment installed in marked and unmarked patrol cars throughout Maricopa County. Among the purchases will be two LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) speed detection devices. LIDAR allows deputies to work in congested high-traffic areas including neighborhood streets and construction and school zones.

3. $36,000 to assist with the investigation of fatal, life threatening and/or serious injury traffic collisions. This grant is specifically intended to enhance the investigation of collisions involving impaired and/or speeding drivers. It targets DUI, Aggravated DUI, Endangerment, Aggravated Assault, and Vehicular Homicide.

4. $20,000 to locate and apprehend subjects with impaired driver related warrants. This grant targets subjects with warrants related to DUI, Aggravated DUI, Endangerment, Aggravated Assault, and Vehicular Homicide.

“The population growth in Maricopa County requires frequent, visible and direct traffic enforcement,” said GOHS Director Alberto Gutier. “We’re committed to helping MCSO keep our roadways safer.”