Kasson PD honored for campaigns against distracted driving
KASSON— The Kasson Police Department's efforts to curb distracted driving are getting noticed.
The department was named an "Outstanding Agency" by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety-Office of Traffic Safety for promoting traffic safety and partnership activities. The award was presented during Wednesday's city council meeting
Part of the honor includes a police radar unit. Law enforcement liaisons nominate two agencies per quarter for the award based on enforcement activity, reporting, community education and outreach.
"We are dedicated to keeping Kasson roads safe and working toward fewer traffic-related deaths and injuries," said Chief Kent Berghuis. "Each life matters, and it's an honor to be recognized for the protection of people on the roads that we all share."
"The Kasson Police Department is receiving this award for its dedicated performance during the October Seat Belt Campaign 'Click it or Ticket' and the Nov/Dec DWI Campaign 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,' both in 2016", said Scott McConkey, OTS Southern Minnesota Law Enforcement Liaison. "When compared to law enforcement agencies across the state during 'Click it or Ticket' Kasson ranked within the top three agencies for performance, exceeded only by the St. Paul Police Dept. and the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office."
There are eight full-time and five part-time officers in the Kasson department. During their campaigns, Kasson Police ticketed three DWIs and between 70 to 100 tickets for distracted driving and child restraint violations.
Kasson Police Sgt. Josh Hanson also notes that the compliance rate has increased. For the next two weeks as part of the "Toward Zero Deaths" initiative, Kasson Police and other law enforcement agencies are providing extra enforcement to deter individuals from dangerous driving such as texting, drinking, etc.