Columbus top Governor Highway Safety point-getterPublished 4:54pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Columbus Police Department, which has seven officers, gained recognition earlier this month for accumulating the most N.C. Governor Highway Safety Program points in the state.
Coming in second place behind Columbus was the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, which has 1,685 sworn officers and 550 civilian personnel.
The Columbus Police Department was recognized at the annual North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Traffic Safety Symposium, held in Winston Salem Feb. 4-6 for being the top points earning agency in the state. Points are earned from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program through participation in events related to traffic safety campaigns such as Booze It and Lose It, No Need 2 Speed, Click It or Ticket, as well as the BikeSafe NC motorcycle education program. The points can be redeemed for equipment, vehicles and other items related to traffic safety at no cost to the agency. The Columbus Police Department was the 10th highest points earning agency in the state in 2011.
Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said being affiliated with the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program saves countless taxpayer dollars for equipment a department as small as Columbus could not obtain.
Through the program, Columbus is also in its second year of a grant that helps pay for Lt. Nick Stott’s position, along with his vehicle and equipment necessary for traffic enforcement. The grant paid 85 percent of Stott’s salary the first year, 75 percent the second year and will pay for 50 percent the third year, as well as for the vehicle and equipment.
Additionally, the Columbus Police Department was recognized for being a 100 percent reporting agency with the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Last year was the third consecutive year the department has been a 100-percent reporting agency.