Commander Matt Wirt is a 13-year veteran with the Sedalia Police Department and he is in charge of the Uniform Operations Bureau and Traffic, and the Sedalia News-Journal had a chance to speak with the commander about two grants that the SPD uses for traffic safety.
“This is part of MoDOT grants that we get from the state.
“We get two main forms. We get a Hazardous Moving Violation grant and then we have an Alcohol Enforcement grant,” Wirt said.
Wirt didn’t have a total for the HMV grant, but the total for the Alcohol Enforcement grant is $8,827.
Wirt went on to explain what services each grant helps the SPD perform.
“The Hazardous Moving Violation grant focuses on any hazardous moving violations on any highways that run through Sedalia.
“The money is limited on those,” Wirt said.
He added, “We just focus on using that for high traffic holidays such as Labor Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.”
Wirt spoke of the uses for the Alcohol Enforcement grant.
“The Alcohol Enforcement grant we are focusing on driving while intoxicated related incidents.
“We will focus in higher DUI times. These are focused not on holidays, but those higher incident times. If you look at the state’s website they all of those statistics on there,” Wirt explained.
Wirt was asked to explain where the grant money is used to help in the scope of those types of incidents.
“Both of the grants pay for overtime for the officers and also dispatchers,” Wirt said.
He added, “The alcohol related grant pays for extra DUI enforcement and also check points. It will also pay for the equipment used at the check points.”
Wirt was asked about the frequency of the DUI enforcement.
“We are doing extra DUI enforcement at least two weekends a month until September,” Wirt replied.
Wirt explained when the grant funding comes in each year after the application process.
“We received the money just recently for the Alcohol Enforcement grant. For the Hazardous Moving Violation grant, we finished our money from last year and we are preparing for 2013 for the HMV grant,” Wirt said.
Wirt was asked how many extra officers can be expected on the road during the weekends that the SPD has allotted for alcohol enforcement.
“We have between one and three extra officers for these weekends,” Wirt said.
He was asked if the SPD has seen an increased number of people taken off the roads due to the increase.
“It has increased our number. We have encountered more DUIs with it,” Wirt said.
He added, “The purpose of the alcohol enforcement is to impress upon people to make better choices on drinking and driving.”