Kenneth City Police Department earns statewide traffic awards

Statewide traffic awards worth $27,000 in equipment allow the chief to shave his budget request.
Police Chief Mike Rossi will cut $15,000 from his request.
Police Chief Mike Rossi will cut $15,000 from his request.
Published July 30 2013

KENNETH CITY — This town's Police Department will receive tens of thousands of dollars in free equipment after winning three statewide traffic awards.

The total amount Kenneth City will receive in free traffic safety equipment is $27,000. The bulk of that — $15,000 — will be used for new in-car cameras, an item Chief Mike Rossi requested recently in next year's budget. Rossi said winning the awards will allow him to deduct that $15,000 from the $123,000 increase he'd requested in his equipment and training budget for the coming year.

The other $12,000 from the awards will be used for new radar. Rossi had already been notified of that award and had not included it in his 2013-14 budget request.

In all, the department won three awards for dedication to traffic safety enforcement for 2012. The Kenneth City Police Department developed a comprehensive traffic safety program along with a photo enforcement program, which made a significant impact by reducing the risk of traffic-related crashes, injuries and fatalities as well as other traffic-related crimes, Rossi said. The department used strict enforcement with regards to impaired and intoxicated drivers, seat belt violators, red light violations and other traffic-related violations.

The department won against other departments of similar size in three categories: first place for the Florida Law Enforcement Challenge, second place for the Driving Under the Influence Challenge and third place for the Click It or Ticket Challenge.

All were sponsored by the Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Program, a grant-funded program sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The goal of the LEL program is to reduce traffic-related fatalities and injuries by working with law enforcement agencies across the state to boost seat belt use, reduce drunken driving and encourage traffic safety initiatives.

The Florida Law Enforcement Challenge is designed to reward the best overall traffic safety programs in Florida. The areas of concentration include efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding, and other areas of traffic safety. Departments submit an application that documents their agency's efforts and effectiveness in these areas.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.