Lo­cal agen­cies get high­way safety grants

Cecil Whig - - & - By CARL HAMIL­TON


— The Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment and the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice are among more than 80 agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions in Mary­land that are re­ceiv­ing a por­tion of over $12.5 mil­lion in fed­eral high­way safety grants, with CCSO and EPD each al­lot­ted $14,000 of the money, Gov. Larry Ho­gan an­nounced Monday.

In ad­di­tion, Mary­land State Po­lice is re­ceiv­ing $3.1 mil­lion of the fed­eral fund­ing.

The fed­eral fund­ing, which is given to agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions statewide each year, is ear­marked to “strengthen and ex­pand the state’s ef­forts to save lives on Mary­land roads,” a spokesman for the Of­fice of the Gover­nor said. The funds will be dis­trib­uted by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s High­way Safety Of­fice to law en­force­ment agen­cies and traf­fic safety ad­vo­cates through­out Mary­land, he added.

EPD of­fi­cials plan to use their depart­ment’s $14,000 in fed­eral fund­ing to cover over­time pay to of­fi­cers as­signed to spe­cial sat­u­ra­tion pa­trols aimed solely at curb­ing drunken driv­ing and ag­gres­sive driv­ing, ac­cord­ing to Capt. Joseph Zurolo, an agency spokesman. While shift of­fi­cers are han­dling their reg­u­lar pa­trol du­ties, the sat­u­ra­tion pa­trol of­fi­cers will fo­cus only on driv­ers who are drunk, im­paired or ag­gres­sive, he said.

“We will use ours for ex­tra pa­trols on over­time as­sign­ments. They will be to­tally fo­cused on ag­gres­sive and drunken driv­ers. We will do this at cer­tain des­ig­nated times,” Zurolo said, not-


ing that it’s pos­si­ble EPD would work some of its spe­cial traf­fic de­tails dur­ing hol­i­days and events in which ci­ti­zens are more apt to con­sume al­co­hol, such as New Year’s Eve and Su­per Bowl Sun­day, which is when other agen­cies have con­ducted them.

The fed­eral grant awards, which are al­lo­cated based on crash data for each county and, or, or­ga­ni­za­tions that ap­plied for fund­ing, can be used only for traf­fic safety ac­tiv­i­ties, the gover­nor’s spokesman re­ported. Funds can be spent only dur­ing fed­eral fis­cal year 2017, which runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2017, he ex­plained.

They are widely var­ied in amounts, with $1,000 in fed­eral fund­ing go­ing to the Manch­ester Po­lice Depart­ment and $3.1 mil­lion go­ing to MSP.

The fed­eral fund­ing will have sev­eral traf­fic-safety ef­forts, the gover­nor’s spokesman said. The list in­cludes fund­ing child pas­sen­ger safety fit­ting sta­tions, im­prov­ing Mary­land’s traf­fic data sys­tem, fund­ing traf­fic safety-re­lated law en­force­ment op­er­a­tions, strength­en­ing and ex­pand­ing the state’s ef­forts to save lives on Mary­land roads and in­creas­ing mo­tor­cy­clist, pedes­trian and bi­cy­clist safety ef­forts, he added.

While an­nounc­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of the $12.5 mil­lion in fed­eral funds, Ho­gan com­mented, “The safety and se­cu­rity of Mary­lan­ders is our top pri­or­ity and this vi­tal fund­ing will help strengthen our ef­forts to re­duce traf­fic fa­tal­i­ties and save lives. Dan­ger­ous, im­paired, and dis­tracted driv­ing puts ev­ery­one at risk, and we will con­tinue to do ev­ery­thing in our power to en­sure safety on our roads.”


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