So far this year there have been zero traffic related fatalities in the Collegedale Police jurisdiction, and local Police Chief Brian Hickman said he hopes to maintain that number through the end of the year.
Beginning this month, the Collegedale Police Department will implement a pilot program that gets more police officers on the road through the end of the holiday season, said Hickman. He will be using $5,000 in grant funding awarded by the Governor's Highway Safety Office to fund the program and additional officers, he said.
"We will be paying officers overtime to focus on DUI, speed and seat belt enforcement," said Hickman. "We are using the grant funding to put extra officers on the road to combat problems."
The C.O.M.E.T. program, which stands for Combined Messaging Enforcement for Tennessee, is a program similar to the Click It or Ticket and Booze It or Lose It programs, said Hickman. But C.O.M.E.T. is larger in scale and Tennessee has been selected as one of only two states to test the program, he said.
"We always tend to see a large increase in traffic during the holiday season," said Hickman. "Also, some people tend to drink this time of year when they don't normally."
He said his department is already working to support that increase, which he hopes will not mean more fatalities in East Hamilton County.
"All of us in law enforcement, we tell people to slow down, wear a seat belt, and if you're going to drink, plan ahead and have a designated driver. It's pretty simple," he said.