Second Click It or Ticket set
By by Connie Nowlin
Atmore police have set the second blitz of the department's Click It or Ticket program for the Independence Day weekend.
Inspector Chuck Brooks said the first blitz of the program, held Memorial Day weekend, focused on seat belt usage, but the second blitz will zero in on impaired drivers.
The department will have four checkpoints at various locations throughout Atmore from July 3-6.
The department is in its second year with the program, which is federally funded. The federal dollars are channeled into the Alabama Department of Economics and Community Affairs, which in turn offers incentives and funds to cooperating departments.
The money goes to pay for extra shifts and then the department is able to compete for incentives, usually equipment.
Brooks said that last year the department received three radar guns, valued at $1500 each, two $1000 video equipment packages for patrol cars and several field sobriety testers. Those testers are used to increase and verify proof of probable cause for the stop.
"This program has been real successful," Brooks said. "We are just trying to get people to buckle up. And it isn't just enforcement, it is also about educating the public."
In the interest of education, workshops are given for officers on the correct installation and use of child safety seats.
Not having a child properly restrained in an automobile is a primary infraction in Alabama, that is, an officer may stop a vehicle if an unrestrained child is noticed in that car.
Thursday, Gov. Bob Riley announced a $22,000 award to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center. That money is to promote child passenger safety training in 12 counties, including Escambia. The medical facility will conduct child passenger safety classes, train firefighters and police officers and establish child restraint fitting stations at area fire departments.
According to medical center statistics, 6 to 8 percent of children are improperly restrained.
That grant was funded through a program of the National Highway Safety Administration, but the same department will administer those dollars as awards the funding and incentives for the Click It or Ticket programs.