The Crosslake Police Department is now better equipped to identify vehicles driving at illegal and unsafe speeds.
The department is one of only nine law enforcement agencies in Minnesota that was awarded a Kustom Signal, Pro Laser III, LIDAR (light detection and ranging) unit for participating in the Safe and Sober enforcement effort during October.
The October Mobilization effort, combining enforcement with education, raised awareness of the problem with unbelted vehicle occupants on our streets and highways. The LIDAR was awarded by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety.
"Traffic enforcement may not be seen as the most glamorous job in the department" Crosslake Police Chief Robert Hartman said in a news release, "but it is more likely to save a life than nearly anything else we can do. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for Minnesotans usually considered too young to die - those between one and thirty-four years old.
"It's impossible to tell exactly how many or whose lives are saved when we emphasize traffic enforcement. The result is a death or injury that doesn't happen. We just know it changes driver's behaviors."
Tom Kummrow, a Law Enforcement Liaison for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the Crosslake Police Department received the LIDAR unit in recognition of their commitment to enforcing traffic laws every day, not just when we're able to pay for overtime hours.
The pin point accuracy of the LIDAR unit allows the officer to check the speed of the vehicles even in high traffic situations. The LIDAR unit was presented to Hartman of the Crosslake Police Department at the Crosslake City Council meeting on Jan. 10.
Crosslake is a part of a traffic safety coalition that works under a Safe and Sober Grant from the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety. Almost every agency in Crow Wing County participated in the cooperative effort to remove impaired drivers from the roads in Crow Wing County and make sure all occupants in motor vehicles are buckled up.
Safe and Sober is a statewide and national law enforcement campaign designed to increase seat belt and child seat use and decrease the incidence of impaired driving. Hartman emphasized the importance of how Crosslake Police Sgt. Erik Lee, coordinator of the Crosslake Safe & Sober project, worked diligently coordinating the Crosslake Police officers' schedules to place the most emphasis on safer roads with-in the areas surrounding Crosslake.