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Can Individual Troopers Make a Difference?

NCJ Number
The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement Volume: 73 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2006 Pages: 31-34,36,37
Paul D. McClellan
Date Published
December 2006
6 pages
This article describes how the Ohio State Highway Patrol has changed its overall traffic enforcement philosophy in order to meet its operational strategic goal of reducing traffic crash deaths in Ohio.
To meet the goal of achieving a traffic fatality rate of 1 death per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the State of Ohio, the Ohio State Highway Patrol changed its approach to traffic enforcement. The resources and tools needed to make a difference have been made available to all employees, including data evaluations, computerized reports, and computerized mapping tools. Recognizing the importance of evaluation data to reducing crash fatalities, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has computerized traffic citations, crash reports, and additional forms so that officers may perform their duties in an efficient manner. The program LifeStat 1.0 has been employed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol to provide information on why crashes occurred and the steps officers need to take to reduce crashes during every shift. The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s research unit provides data analysis and trend identification, which is then used to create a weekly LifeStat 1.0 crash trend analysis. Officers have been encouraged to make a difference at each and every traffic stop by educating citizens on why they were stopped for a traffic violation. There is also a new operational inspection process in which the operational aspects of local commands are emphasized. Such a process allows commanders and sergeants the flexibility to make daily decisions on the most effective methods to achieve highway safety. By the end of 2005, the Ohio State Highway Patrol was successful in lowering its traffic crash fatality rate to 1.18 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in Ohio, a reduction of 6 percent from 2004. The article also discusses educational campaigns of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, including the Buckle Up for a Successful Season program that targets high school students and the Ride Smart Drive Smart program. Endnotes