Deerfield PD grant to target impaired, distracted drivers

  • The Deerfield town offices just outside the center of town. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Thursday, January 03, 2019

DEERFIELD – The town’s police department has been awarded a state grant to target impaired and distracted drivers.

Deerfield Police Detective Adam Sokoloski said the department will be reimbursed $5,000 for extra patrols and another $5,000 for equipment. The money comes from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division.

Sokoloski said Police Sgt. Harry Ruddock III, who applied for the grant, will assign extra patrols in the spring to help with traffic enforcement. Sokoloski said there are typically two officers on duty and the extra patrols will consist of a part-time officer working a two- or four-hour block or a full-time officer working overtime. The extra officer would specifically be on the lookout for traffic infractions.

A grant last year enabled extra patrols and the purchase of mobile speed boards that monitor vehicle speeds and, when necessary, alert drivers to slow down. Sokoloski said the speed boards seem popular with residents and some community members have requested to have them in their neighborhoods. He said Ruddock also applied for last year’s grant.

According to the Deerfield Police department’s Facebook page, impaired driving caused 79 fatalities in Massachusetts in 2016. The Facebook post cites data from 2012 to 2016 and shows marijuana was the prevalent drug in impaired drivers.

More information about impaired driving is available at: bit.ly/2VbxAVu.