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Strategic and Tactical Approaches to Traffic Safety

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 74 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2007 Pages: 20-23
Alexander Weiss; Kenneth Morckel
Date Published
July 2007
4 pages
This article describes a new model for delivering police traffic services that uses strategic and tactical approaches to traffic safety (STATS).
The STATS approach has four goals. First, it aims to enable law enforcement agencies to provide effective traffic law enforcement without depending on Federal funding. This is desirable because Federal funding for traffic enforcement tends to emphasize Federal rather than local priorities, is usually narrowly focused, and develops a dependency on funding subject to Federal spending priorities. Second, STATS uses data-driven models for allocating enforcement resources. This involves the design of traffic enforcement strategies that can be measured and modified according to data that indicate outcomes. Resource allocations are then determined by which strategies have proven effective. An example of this approach is the Ohio State Highway Patrol's LifeStat system. The components of this system are described. Third, the STATS approach develops strategies for using traffic enforcement for reducing overall criminal activity. Studies have shown that traffic law enforcement can have a key role in disrupting organized criminal enterprises, particularly when these groups market drugs and illegal firearms. Using traffic stops as a means of finding narcotics, guns, and contraband can be effective as a general crime deterrent; however, the likelihood of finding such items in a specific traffic stop is extremely low. Fourth, the STATS approach develops and trains a new generation of traffic safety professionals. It focuses on traffic enforcement leadership training programs that include, at the very least, traffic accident analysis, traffic enforcement strategies, resource allocation, public relations, information systems, grantsmanship, program evaluation, traffic engineering, and traffic incident management. 4 notes