Road safety focus for Nevada City police |

Road safety focus for Nevada City police

(Editor’s note: The following article is the eighth installment in a series of profiles of local law and fire protection agencies that will publish each week through Feb. 27, when the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council hosts its annual Red Light Ball at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. That event raised more than $20,000 for local agencies last year. For ticket information, contact Bill Drown at 268-9015.)

The Nevada City Police Department is looking forward to a good 2010.

The biggest news in our department is the American Recovery Act Grant money we will use to hire two officers and a records supervisor. The grant will cover costs so we don’t have to take furlough days.

Our additional staff should be on board by the end of February, and we are eagerly awaiting them.

Officers have shown their loyalty and flexibility during these tough economic times. They have constantly changed shifts and days off to cover the lack of sufficient staff and furlough days off. They have also been doing some of the records supervisor duties.

Being short of staff has caused our training program to suffer, so with the additional people, supervisors will once again be able to function as supervisors and not patrol officers.

Our officers will also have the opportunity to attend valuable training courses.

A training tool we have, that is not dependent on staffing levels, is our vehicle video system. We are in the process of upgrading this system to enhance the level of training it provides us.

Another critical element of our training is joining with other local agencies for joint training sessions. This ensures we are able to coordinate effectively and use the same tactics when working together.

Nevada City’s crime rate remains one of the lowest per capita in the country. Most of this is due to the vigilance of our citizens.

Who would know better when possible illegal activity is taking place than the people who live in the area?

Residents who are willing to share information with us make it much easier to apprehend the bad guys and to prevent crime in the first place.

Watch the speed limit

This year, we will have a major focus on traffic safety issues.

It is amazing how many people who consider themselves law-abiding forget the rules when they get behind the wheel. Our focus will be around our schools, concentrating on the hours before and after school.

I have advised my officers to cut back on warnings and issue citations when warranted. When you drop off or pick up your children, give yourself enough time to abide by the speed limit.

Remind your children to cross streets only at a cross walk.

Our town is only 2 square miles and we have six schools. This means that almost anywhere a person drives will be near a school.

Licensed drivers have demonstrated their knowledge of traffic laws by passing a test. This means a traffic violation is a conscious choice to break the law. I urge every driver to follow these laws.

In closing, I wish to thank our community and the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council for all their hard work and support. Support from the community allows the council to get us the equipment our budgets can’t afford.

Each month, the council hosts a meeting with all the Nevada County public safety agencies. This is one of the most important ways we share information – a function vital to our ability to provide the finest service possible.

Lou Trovato is chief of the Nevada City Police Department.

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