Assistant Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security David W. Purkey talks about the Public Safety Action Plan during an editorial board meeting Thursday at the Times Free Press.

District attorneys' offices and law enforcement agencies in Southeast Tennessee's rural counties were awarded more than $1 million in federal grant funding for highway safety projects.

Statewide, more than $18 million in federal grants were awarded through the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for fiscal 2017-18, according to a news release. The money comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office got the largest grant in the region outside Hamilton County, at $55,000. The next-largest was $35,000 for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and police departments in Crossville and Lenoir City.

Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. James Bradford said the money will pay for traffic safety enforcement and equipment. The department's Public Safety Unit — seven deputies specially trained for traffic accidents — manages the funding. It will be spent on educational presentations, DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols, motorcycle safety enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, seat belt and child safety seat enforcement, and speed, red light, and stop-sign enforcement, Bradford said.

Rural district attorneys

Grants awarded to district attorneys offices in Southeast Tennessee’s rural counties from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Hamilton County is included for comparison.

District/Grant amount

9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office/$183,000

10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office/$142,000

11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office/$281,000

12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office/no grant funding

14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office/$180,000

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

He added that Lt. Cheryl Holloway and Sgt. Mario Santos "handle chronic community traffic complaints, initiating saturation patrols that target areas frequented with aggressive driving, and prompt initiatives to reduce traffic accidents on roadways."

"It's also our agency's objective to target unsafe drivers through saturation patrols to create a culture of traffic safety across the Cleveland/Bradley County community," Sheriff Eric Watson said in the statement.

Among district attorneys' grants, 9th Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson's office got the highest award. The 9th District comprises Loudon, Meigs, Morgan and Roane counties.

Johnson was attending a district attorneys' conference last week and couldn't be reached for comment. In past years, other DAs have said such grants support staff and programs aimed at reducing drunken driving and increasing DUI convictions.

State officials said all the grants seek to improve safety in Tennessee.

"Highway safety enforcement and education initiatives are critical components to preventing highway fatalities," Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey said in a statement.

"We cannot lower statewide fatality numbers without strong partnerships within our local communities. That is why these funds are so important."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.


Money given to law enforcement agencies and district attorneys offices in Southeast Tennessee’s rural counties from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hamilton County figures are included for comparison.

Agency/Program/Grant amount

• Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Pikeville Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Bradley County Sheriff’s Department/Operation Safe Street III/$55,000

• Charleston Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Cleveland Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Tennessee District Attorney General 10th Judicial District/DUI Abatement-Prosecution Enhancement/$142,000

• Coffee County Sheriff’s Department/Enhancement of Computer and Vehicle Video for Traffic and DUI Enforcement/$29,000

• Manchester Police Department/City of Manchester Impaired Driving Enforcement/$15,000

• Tennessee District Attorney General, 14th Judicial District DUI Abatement-Prosecution Enhancement/$180,000

• Tullahoma Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Cowan Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Decherd Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Estill Springs Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Franklin County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Franklin County Sheriff’s Department/Impaired Driving Program/$10,000

• Winchester Police Department High Visibility Enforcement Police Traffic Services/$3,000

• Grundy County Sheriff’s Department/Impaired Driving Enforcement Initiative/$15,000

• Monteagle Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

•Tracy City Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Chattanooga Police Department/DUI Enforcement/$75,000

• Collegedale Police Department/Multiple Violations Program/$15,000

• Collegedale Police Department/Safety Initiative for Bicyclists and Pedestrians/$55,800

• East Ridge Police Department/Traffic Crash Reduction Through Increased Traffic Enforcement/$15,000

• Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office/Remove Impaired Intoxicated Drivers/$84,950

•Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office/Safe Journey Occupant Protection/$124,080

• Lookout Mtn. Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Red Bank Police Department/Distracted Driving Reduction Program/$15,000

• Signal Mountain Police Department/Aggressive Driver Enforcement/$15,000

• Soddy-Daisy Police Department/Network Coordinator/$20,000

• Soddy-Daisy Police Department/Alcohol Countermeasures, Alcohol Saturation/$20,000

• Tennessee District Attorney General 11th Judicial District/DUI Prosecution/$281,000

• Lenoir City Police Department/Police Traffic Services Grant/$35,000

• Loudon County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Tennessee District Attorney General/DUI Prosecutor/$183,000

• Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department/Marion County Improving Emergency Scene Highway Safety/$6,460

•J asper Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Kimball Police Department/Network Coordinator/$20,000

• Marion County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• South Pittsburg Police Department/Police Traffic Services/$20,000

• 10th Judicial Drug Task Force/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Athens Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Englewood Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Etowah Police Department/Keeping the City of Etowah Streets Safe/$15,000

• McMinn County Sheriff’s Department/McMinn County Alcohol Saturation Patrols/Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints/$20,000

• Niota Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Decatur Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Meigs County Sheriff’s Department/DUI Enforcement Program 2014/$13,000

• Monroe County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Sweetwater Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Tellico Plains Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Benton Police Department/Alcohol Impaired Driving/$19,000

• Benton Police Department/Network Coordinator/$20,000

• Polk County Sheriff’s Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Dayton Fire Department/Disabled Motorist Enhanced Safety and Crash Prevention/$3,002

• Dayton Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,300

• Graysville Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,000

• Rhea County Sheriff’s Department/Alcohol Impaired Driving Enforcement/$18,000

• Rhea County Sheriff’s Department/Network Coordinator/$20,000

• Spring City Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$3,100

• Dunlap Police Department/High Visibility Enforcement/$5,000

• Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Department/Alcohol Reduction Enforcement/$12,000

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security