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No. Calif. Police Receive Grant to Nab Drunken Drivers

FAIRFIELD -- Fairfield police will step up efforts to deal with speeding motorists and those driving while intoxicated thanks to a large state grant.

The police will receive a $425,169 grant from the state Department of Traffic Safety that will allow the department to add more officers to its traffic unit.

One position will be a motorcycle traffic safety officer who will devote his time to tackling areas where the city is having problems with speeders.

"The enforcement will be out there and when the word gets out, speeders decrease and accidents decrease," said Fairfield Police Sgt. Al Bagos who supervises the department's traffic unit.

A second officer will allow the department to run more DUI checkpoints and do more warrant enforcement.

Both officers will also allow the department to conduct more presentations in schools, with community groups and on Travis Air Force Base to talk about traffic safety.

The grant also pays for a part-time traffic safety specialist who will help put on more school programs and bicycle rodeos.

The police certainly can use the help.

Last year, nearly a third of the 1,465 collisions that occurred in Fairfield were speed-related.

Fairfield was also ranked as the seventh-worst city out of 45 similar-sized cities when it comes to drunken drivers and the fourth worst when it comes to alcohol-related collisions, according to the California Department of Traffic Safety.

The two-year grant will pay all the costs of the three positions for the first year and pick up half the tab in the second year with Fairfield footing the entire bill afterwards.

Fairfield's costs will be carried by the special Public Safety Fund the City Council created earlier this year to bolster the city's public safety departments.

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