The Show Low Police Department has 18 officers assigned to the patrol division. Patrol consists of 4 squads. Each squad had a Sergeant, Lead Officer and up to 3 others officers if fully staffed. This includes two police K-9 officers which assist the squads. There is a Commander over the division. The patrol division is responsible for handling all calls for service within the city that are of a police nature. There is one Traffic Safety Supervisor who oversees the photo enforcement program. The Traffic Safety Supervisor also monitors crash data an addresses other traffic related concerns or requests. There are 3 officers trained in police motorcycles, but due to weather and limited schedule coverage they only ride part time. Most of the time, even when on the motorcycle, they are also required to handle regular patrol calls for service and provide back up for other officers as well. Unfortunately we do not have a dedicated traffic unit. We do however strongly encourage a 4 traffic contact average per officer per shift. We feel that all our officers are responsible and should play a significant role in traffic safety.
We have a number of different vehicle types to accomplish our patrol function. We have the two new Honda Motorcycles as well marked and unmarked units. Due to weather conditions we also have front wheel drive vehicles as well as four wheel drive units.
During the year, we participate in Click It or Ticket campaigns and work in cooperation with other agencies. We are a component of the White Mountain DUI Task Force. The DUI Task Force is funded by the Governorís Office of Highway Safety grant funds. We complete one check point operation per year and two saturation patrols. Also during holiday weekends GOHS help pay overtime for our DUI enforcement as well.
Even though our state is not a primary seat belt enforcement law state, we set up check points and stop drivers for other violations such as speeding or equipment violations. During these checkpoints we select an area of the city that has limited areas to avoid enforcement. One officer positions himself up the road with a radar device. He parks along the road and monitors traffic as is passes. He will then radio violations ahead and indicates what the violation is and who in the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt. Just down the road a marked unit with overhead lights on and bright signs indicating it is a seatbelt enforcement detail will have the violating vehicles exit the roadway. Once stopped they will be contacted by the officer and written for the seat belt violations and generally will only receive a warning for the other violations unless it warrants a citation. We do this to help increase our seat belt usage rates within the city. We also try to do these details on different days and different times. One such time is the lunch period and we will do them near the High School and also away from the High School. We completed 3 such checkpoint details in 2011. Our enforcement efforts in the category of occupant protection as well as education component have shown a marked increase in seat belt use city wide. Our High School student increased their usage by 12% and the rest of the city increased an average of 9%.
In 2009 we began a photo enforcement program. This initiated after 3 fatal collisions during a six week period in the summer of 2008 which caused us to take a long hard look at traffic safety. We installed 7 fixed site locations and had one mobile speed van. Of the fixed site locations, 3 of them are at intersections which not only detect speed, but also red light violations. This has proved to significantly reduce speeds around our city which has directly reduced the injury severity of accidents. In 2011 we actually had an increase in accidents, but this was due to the fact we had some significant weather events which caused severe ice and snow packed driving conditions that lead to several collisions in a short period of time all round the city. Unfortunately in 2011 we had one fatal collision that resulted in 2 deaths. This was two males in a truck that veered across the centerline and struck on oncoming semi-truck. This was not speed related and they were not under the influence. We believe this was related to either fatigue/tired driving or distracted driving. Since we began the photo enforcement program we were fatality free in 2010 for the first time in many years. In 2011 our photo enforcement system detected 20,275 violations which resulted in 13,266 traffic violations notices being sent out. Of those violations 2,853 were red light violations which resulted in 1,491 notices being sent. Overall we have achieved a very high voluntary compliance rate. The number of violations compared to the number of motorists shows that only one tenth of one percent of our motorists are creating violations. Obviously this has a direct reflection on the amount of officer generated citations each year. I have classified this program as 1 other traffic-enforcement effort.
Show Low Police Departments enforcement activity for the past 3 years.