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How to Obtain Adequate Resources for Traffic Enforcement

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 67 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2000 Pages: 31-33
Earl M. Sweeney
Date Published
July 2000
3 pages
Police executives and police agencies need to consider budgeting to be a year-round process and to be innovative and proactively to obtain adequate funding for traffic units as costs rise rapidly due to the increasing cost of fuel.
A large State police or highway patrol organization with 6,000 troopers traveling 30,000 miles each year per officer at an average of 12 miles per gallon will experience in additional $750,000 in unanticipated operating expenses if the cost of gasoline rises by 5 cents. Police executives are increasingly recognizing the need for the support of elected officials and citizens if they are to obtain the resources the need. Reestablishing trust involves building bridges to the community, critically examining how officers interact with the people they stop, and using data intelligently. Chiefs should be alert to the public and should use their budgets to address public concerns as indicated from letters to the editor, discussions with local leaders, community meetings, and interactions with citizens. Successful budgeting requires financial acumen, psychology, and communication. Educating budget decision makers is also crucial. Agencies should also consider using citizen volunteers, collaborating with neighboring agencies, obtaining funds from the private sector, and adopting new technology.