We stop a lot of cars. In fact, our officers made approximately 8,000 traffic stops in 2014 that resulted in 8,097 enforcement actions. Our citizens and the rest of the motoring public see us out there stopping all of these cars and wonder what we're up to - some even suspect that we are out there for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the Town. So what IS up with all of the traffic stops?
Make no mistake - the citations we write DO result in revenue for the Town when the driver pays their fine. That money goes into the general fund and is eventually spread out among all Town departments as operating funds at budget time. However, revenue is far from our number one reason for aggressive traffic enforcement (Learn more about the speed trap law and how we stack up here).
We operate under the proven understanding that the high visibility created by traffic enforcement reduces crime because "crime often involves the use of motor vehicles" (1). This is part of the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) concept as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance and based on several real-world studies. Due to the historically sporadic nature of criminal activity in Tyrone - we do not have traditional "hot spots" like other cities - we operate under a modified version of the DDACTS concept where we treat the entire jurisdiction as a potential (emphasis on potential is important) high crime area and require our officers to aggressively enforce traffic laws wherever they may be on patrol. We also constantly monitor criminal activity by location and are prepared to deploy officers for directed enforcement and patrol at any time.
The results of our subscription to this concept are measurable and impressive:
Another major benefit of aggressive traffic enforcement is our low number of accidents involving serious injuries and deaths...
At no time are our officers required to issue a given number of citations and their performance evaluation in traffic enforcement is only based on how many stops they make - NOT on how many citations they issue. This discretion results in a very high number of warnings issued by our officers. In fact, only 23% of our enforcement actions were citations in 2014.
We are very proud of our tradition of being a pro-active police department and we celebrate the results of the past three years of hard work on the part of our officers. It is exciting for all of us to know that Tyrone is one of the THE safest cities in Metro Atlanta when it comes to crime AND traffic safety!