Franklin Township police to use grant funding for traffic enforcement

By Andrea Cordle
Westside Editor

Residents in Franklin Township are fed up with drivers who do not follow the rules of the road.

According to Franklin Township Sgt. David Pollock, traffic complaints are one of the top concerns officers hear from residents.

Pollock said they receive numerous complaints about speed on Alkire Road, drivers using the turn lane on Clime Road to pass traffic, people running the traffic light at Frank and Brown Road, and drivers passing on the shoulder of Harrisburg Pike.

“We’ve had pedestrians stuck on West Broad Street and on Harrisburg Pike,” said Pollock. “We also get a lot of complaints about people driving four wheelers or dirt bikes in the neighborhoods.”

This is why township officials applied for a traffic safety grant with the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Last month, the township was notified that it had received the traffic safety grant in the amount of $24,245. This grant allows the township to get reimbursement funds for officers who work overtime on traffic enforcement.

According to the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, it is responsible for administering federal highway safety funds for programs designed to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on Ohio roadways.

Pollock said the grant is awarded based on traffic fatalities in the area within the past few years. The grant provides federal funds to eligible entities for projects such as traffic safety education, and enforcement.

The grant runs from the beginning of April through the end of September. Not only will township officers work overtime to target these traffic complaints, the grant will also help fund traffic safety initiatives like Click it or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

According to Pollock, this grant will be beneficial to the township because without the overtime, officers do not always have the time to spend of traffic enforcement. Pollock said the township, like many agencies, are understaffed and calls for service take precedence over traffic enforcement.

“This grant will allow our officers to focus solely on traffic enforcement without taking away regular patrol resources,” said the sergeant.

Franklin Township currently has 11 full-time sworn officers, including the police chief and lieutenant, though Pollock said they would like to increase that number to 13.

He said the timing of the grant is ideal because there are more fatal crashes in the summer.

“Of the traffic fatalities, one third involve speed and many are impaired,” said Pollock.

His advice for drivers – slow down.

“Just be safe and stay alert,” said Pollock.

The township’s police department also intends to apply for another grant in May.

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