AIKEN --- Aiken Department of Public Safety traffic enforcement officers are easy to spot as they patrol the streets in their black Dodge Chargers, the roofs outfitted with flashing lights and the sides emblazoned with the department's logo.
The officers and their equipment are funded by a three-year grant from the state Department of Public Safety, and Aiken Public Safety has been notified that it will receive second-year grant funding of more than $93,000 for the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic program.
Since Cpl. Chris Carter and Officer Jason Griffin began patrolling in January, there have been no fatal collisions in Aiken, and there has been a 30 percent increase in arrests for driving under the influence and a 57 percent increase in citations for seat-belt and child-restraint violations.
Sgt. Jake Mahoney said the public's response to the department's two traffic enforcement officers has been very positive.
"Once people are aware that traffic enforcement improves quality of life, they are supportive of the program," he said.
Sgt. Mahoney said public safety has seen a reduction in property damage per collision, indicatring lower speeds at the time of the collisions.
"The annexation of Whiskey Road has added to the calls in service, but the severity of the crashes has been reduced," he said.
Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or firstname.lastname@example.org.