IN THE FIELD – Traffic data in law enforcement
When it comes to traffic-related law enforcement, time is a precious resource. Effective monitoring of vehicle speeds and vehicle types helps optimize police efforts and maximizes the impact of time spent by the roadside with radar units. We caught up with Lieutenant Michael Katsoudas of the Hillside Police Department in New Jersey to find out how they’ve been using MetroCount units to optimize their workflow.
How does traffic data feed into your speed enforcement efforts?
We set up the MetroCount unit when we receive complaints about speeding in a particular area. By deploying the unit, we will either confirm or disprove a problem in that area, and we can then send an officer to conduct radar and enforcement. It is certainly more cost-effective to install the unit for several days than to waste police manpower on a hit-or-miss approach to catching speeders.
The good thing about traffic data is that I can search for the time of the violation, the highest speeds, and other patterns which let me deploy officers more efficiently. In one case, there was a constant 50+ mph violator in a 25 zone. After pinpointing a time, the officers stopped a bakery delivery truck at around 4:00am. Problem solved.
In one case, there was a constant 50+ mph violator in a 25 zone. After pinpointing a time, the officers stopped a bakery delivery truck at around 4:00am. Problem solved.
What other applications do you have for MetroCount units?
I have used the MetroCount tube counter with the “two-way” application for complaints of vehicles exiting businesses and traveling the wrong way on one-way streets. We also use it for trucks and buses driving on residential streets to bypass signals and traffic. If there is a site where crashes occur constantly, we put out the counter to see what’s going on. Again, if there are violations, I can pinpoint the times of occurrence and have officers enforce more efficiently. Then, I have also used reports such as volume, class, and speed for studies, ordinances and surveys.
If there is a site where crashes occur constantly, then we put out the counter to see what’s going on. It is certainly more cost-effective than wasting police manpower.
Do you typically run the same reports in MTE software, and if so which ones?
All of the above, really. I use pies and the bars, mostly, and back it up with a table of the factual data. Sometimes this report can go to a township meeting, the Chief, or any department head.
How often do you utilize traffic data?
Well, if I had the opportunity to… I’d use it just about every day. I wear a lot of hats here, and generally, have to make time to do the things I need to do. It’s a great asset.
There are three of us that install it, but I am the only set-up and analysis guy. We have cordless Makita drills that we use to make thin pilot holes in the street for the nails. We seem to have saved everyone’s fingers this way and it works like a charm. Total time to be up and running after my set-up is usually about 10-15 minutes.
We always involve the community. We find a nice solid tree or utility pole and usually notify the resident directly that we are here on a complaint of speeding – “Please keep an eye on the unit if you can!”. They feel empowered and counters have never been vandalized.