Contributed by the Peoria Police Department

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recently awarded the Peoria Police Department a total of $219,676 in grants to help increase DUI enforcement, traffic enforcement, and education in and around the City of Peoria.

The department will use $30,000 of the grant funds to continue to improve the enforcement of traffic safety laws intended to reduce death, injury, property damage and promote roadway safety, along with deterring aggressive and distracted drivers. The funds will also provide for continuing education that increases the public’s awareness associated with the dangers of speeding, aggressive/distracted driving, and continue to provide training and updates on traffic laws to officers. An additional $30,000 will be used to assist the department in combating illegal street racing activity by allowing officers to work in an overtime capacity on special details and task forces. These details and task forces are designed to enforce laws in regard to illegal street racing. An additional $2,748 will be used to purchase a moving radar system that will be utilized to enforce speeding issues throughout the City of Peoria.

The department will utilize $88,000 of the grant funds to reduce impaired driving, which is a high priority objective for the state. Effective enforcement is an essential countermeasure to reducing DUI offenses and the deadly crashes that can be associated with impaired drivers. Driving while under the influence can carry a hefty price tag, including criminal and legal expenses, property damage, and more importantly, the loss of human life. The department was also granted $4,955 to assist in purchasing Lifeloc FC 10 Plus portable breathe testers to assist officers during DUI investigations. Seventeen thousand dollars of the grant funds will be used to assist in training classes to help officers advance their abilities in DUI alcohol/drug detection and investigation.

In addition, $13,379 of the grant funds provided to the City of Peoria will be used to help promote motorcycle safety. This funding will allow Peoria police motorcycle officers to provide instruction to intermediate riders and further promote safe riding habits. Two motorcycle safety courses will be offered free of charge to the riding public this year. Officers will continue to address motorcycle safety through education and enforcement utilizing these funds.

The final $28,095 in grant funds will be utilized to help increase pedestrian, school zone, school bus, and bicycle safety in and around the City of Peoria. This funding will allow Peoria police officers to focus their time and energy on making the roadways safe for pedestrians. The Peoria Police Department plans to utilize grant funding for overtime enforcement and providing educational awareness about the traffic laws and safety rules in these areas. This grant will also allow the department to continue their Bicycle Safety Partnership by providing instruction to grade school students as well as hosting multiple Bicycle Safety Rodeos throughout the city. Peoria police will also be utilizing $5,519 to purchase bicycle safety helmets, which will be provided free to children during local events. This funding will allow Peoria police officers to provide a multi-faceted approach to traffic safety through education, deterrence, and aggressive enforcement of the state’s traffic and DUI laws.