Harford County Focused on Traffic, Sheriff Says
Harford County has had more traffic fatalities than all but three jurisdictions in the state, including Baltimore City.
About 200 people turned out for Sheriff Jesse Bane's town hall-style meeting for the Edgewood and Joppa areas on Saturday to get an update on the status of crime and traffic issues in the county.
One major area of concern for Bane and the county is traffic. Fatal accidents are on the rise in Harford County.
"We have the fourth highest number of fatalities in the state," Bane said.
This ranking is up from fifth the previous year.
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With deteriorating traffic statistics in the county, Bane said the sheriff's office is looking to employ Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, also known as D-DACTS.
This approach to policing combines traffic and crime "hot spots" on a single map, directing law enforcement to focus heavily on the areas where these two elements overlap.
"We're going to focus on those areas to reduce the crime and to reduce the traffic crashes also," Bane said.
Last year, the sheriff's office, state police and the municipal police departments joined forces with a traffic task force to reduce crashes by focusing on areas with a high volume of crashes and traffic-related complaints, Monica Worrell, public information officer with the sheriff's office confirmed Tuesday.
"In a one-year period, it’s fair to say the task force has written more than 6,000 citations while trying to help educate Harford County drivers on how to drive more safely," Worrell said. "The goal is to educate."
From April 13, 2011 until April 13, 2012, the task force issued 6,810 citations and made 65 arrests through their work, which also included sobriety check points and seat belt check points throughout the county, according to Worrell.
"There isn't a single community that we would go into today that would not give us some kind of complaint about traffic in their community or traffic on the roads. It is a quality of life issue," Bane said during the meeting.
The turnout for the meeting was so big that the community room in the Harford County Sheriff's Office Southern Precinct was filled to its 100-person capacity as people continued to arrive.
In order to accommodate those in attendance, Bane gave the same presentation back-to-back, first in the packed community room and then in the roll call room in another part of the building.
Check Patch throughout the week for more topics covered at the sheriff's town hall meeting.
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