New Dane County Traffic Safety Team Debuts
March 17, 2008
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or Elise Schaffer, Dane County Sheriff’s Department (608) 284-6142
(Madison)…. A new Dane County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Safety Team begins patrolling this week, County Executive Kathleen Falk and Sheriff Dave Mahoney announced today.
The three-deputy team is the second in the Sheriff’s Department dedicated solely to enforcement of traffic safety laws.
“I have made a commitment to increase public safety, and that includes the safety of our roadways. Dane County is a leader on many issues throughout the state, but being a leader in traffic fatalities and alcohol related crashes is a role that all of us would like to relinquish,” said Sheriff Mahoney.
The new Traffic Safety Team was the sheriff’s top 2008 budget priority. Falk put $380,000 in the budget to add three new deputy positions and purchase new squad cars and radar equipment for the officers.
“These deputies will work all hours of the day, in all parts of the county to make our roads and highways safer,” Falk said.
52 people died in crashes in Dane County in 2007. Alcohol was a factor in nearly 40% of those fatal wrecks and plays a role in nearly 800 crashes in the county each year.
“Three times as many people are killed by drunk drivers in this county than are murdered each year. This new team will help get those who shouldn’t be behind the wheel off our roads and that makes us all safer,” Falk said.
Falk’s 2005 budget funded Dane County’s first Traffic Safety Team. Because of its success, dollars for a second team of patrol deputies focused solely on enforcement traffic laws were included in this year’s county budget.