School resources officers have been staffing the program over the summer.
Blaine drivers may be seeing more red this summer.
That’s red taillights, as drivers slow down in response to the Blaine Police Department’s new traffic enforcement division.
Two officers who during the school year serve as school resource officers have been dedicated to enforcing speed limits and the other rules of the road. They’ve made 550 stops, issued 228 tickets and arrested two suspected daytime drunken drivers this summer.
Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson said he formed the division to reduce accidents on busy corridors and to respond to residents’ complaints about chronic speeding, red-light running and other dangerous driving. “We are not just out there to write tickets. It’s to help educate the public,” Olson said. “How can we reduce accidents and make people feel safe?”
The program has been so successful, the chief said, that he’d like to keep it going throughout the year.
“The officers have noticed from the beginning of the summer until now, there’s been a drop in the number of tickets” as drivers begin to see more enforcement, Olson said.
Before the traffic division was formed, the department’s 35 patrol officers enforced traffic laws when they weren’t answering calls. Patrol officers still make traffic stops, but having some dedicated traffic officers is helping slow drivers down and curb other dangerous driving habits, Olson said. □
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804