District 6· Problem Oriented Public Safety
The State Patrol’s style of community policing is called Problem Oriented Public Safety, or POPS. The foundation of POPS is based on a philosophy of taking the concerns of the motoring public by addressing persistent problems. When a problem is identified by a citizen, trooper, or anyone with a concern, the POPS trooper works with other agencies and groups to develop the best achievable solution to address the origin of the problem. Solutions to various problems may range from simply educating the public to major construction projects.
Current POPS Projects in District 6
As of April 14, 2011, District 6 personnel were currently working on two Problem Oriented Public Safety (POPS) projects. These projects are directly related to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Operational Plan for the Field Operations Bureau. The troopers in District 6 are committed to reducing the number of fatality collisions that occur on Washington roadways.
Move Over Law – Approaching Stationary Emergency Vehicles, Tow Trucks and Police Vehicles:
This project started May 12, 2009, and became a joint POPS project with District 2 Bellevue in October 2010. This project is a partnership with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Ellensburg Detachments, King County Detachments, Department of Transportation (DOT), Tow and Recovery Association, Washington Fire Chief’s Association, and Emergency Medical Services.
Troopers, EMS, and Tow companies have seen an increase in motorists not obeying the Move Over Law which has been in effect since 2005. This law not only affects law enforcement but also local Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Tow Truck drivers, and Department Of Transportation personnel.
For the safety of emergency services and roadway maintenance personnel in Washington State a joint POPS Project was initiated to educate the motoring public on the law. When violators were being contacted and educated on this law they were advising Troopers they did not know the law existed.
This project was presented at the April SAF as an exemplary project while still in the Assessment Phase. By the end of 2011 specific statistical data will be gathered which will allow us to decide if education, enforcement, and engineering helped reduce the number of emergency workers being struck on our state’s highways.
Reduction of Serious Injury and Fatal Collisions in Grant County:
This POPS project was opened in Mid 2010 when there was an increase in fatal and serious injury collisions in Grant County during years 2008-2009. The specific problem area was on the roadways connecting Moses Lake, George, Quincy, and Soap Lake. The roadways in this area are: I-90 from Moses Lake to George, SR 281 from George to Quincy, SR28 from Quincy to Soap Lake, and SR17 from Soap Lake to Moses Lake.
There were several fatal collisions caused by inattentive drivers running through stop signs where Adams Road intersects SR 28 and SR 283. In order to alert drivers to the approaching intersections and stop signs, Grant County Road District will install rumble strips (small speed bumps) on Adams Road just prior to where it intersects SR 28 and SR 283.
A collaborative task force was set up with external and internal stakeholders to review data and establish a plan of action. Stakeholders identified were: WSDOT, Grant County Public Works, Grant County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), Moses Lake PD, Ephrata PD, Soap Lake PD, and the Grant County Traffic Safety Team.
The data showed the collisions were spread throughout Grant County but a higher than average number of collisions was occurring between Moses Lake, Ephrata and the Soap Lake area. Fatal collisions occurred mainly in the summer months and a higher than average number of the fatality and injury collisions occurred between 1200-1900.
Strategies Discussed to address the problem:
This project in currently in the Response Phase.
Major Programs and Services:
Child Restraint Inspections:
District 6 has led local efforts to establish child restraint inspection teams and organize child restraint safety clinics in Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Okanogan, and the Columbia Basin. The goal of the safety teams is to make the public more aware of child restraint issues such as the proper placement and adjustment of child safety seats within the vehicle as well as the correct steps when placing the child in the seat. This is done through organized car seat inspection clinics as well as educational seminars and public training forums. More than 98% of the seats inspected are improperly installed. It is because of these facts that the safety teams have successfully provided more than 635 child seats (obtained by grants from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Safety Restraint Coalition) to families that would otherwise not have been able to afford the protection. For more information concerning child passenger safety, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at nhtsa.dot.gov or the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition at 800bucklup.org.
Washington Traffic Safety Task Force Teams:
Three traffic safety task force teams have been established:
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