With a $235,370 state grant in hand, Santa Rosa police are launching a year-long program of special traffic enforcement.

Since the grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety was issued last month, officers participating in the program already have had three operations targeting speeders; intersection violations, such as right-of-way and traffic lights; and red lights violations, Sgt. Lance Badger said. He estimated a total of 120 to 140 tickets were issued.

Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm said in a statement that the grant will “allow the Santa Rosa Police Department to enhance its proactive efforts in the area of traffic safety and continue on its mission in making Santa Rosa a safer place to live, work and play.”

Upcoming are several operations targeting DUI suspects. From about Thanksgiving through New Year’s, Badger said, SRPD plans to hold a DUI checkpoint and 20 DUI saturation patrols, in which two officers in separate cars focus specifically on possible DUI suspects. Operations in the next few weeks also will target motorcyclists, speeders and intersection violations

Through next September, when the grant ends, he said police plan to hold a total of 10 DUI checkpoints and 46 saturation patrols.

Other operations planned include targeting drivers with suspended or revoked licenses and seatbelt violations, Badger said. Part of the grant also will be used for officer training and public education programs, he said.

The one-year grant is similar to one SRPD received last year for traffic enforcement operations.


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