BAXTER — A radar speed detection trailer is the latest endeavor to combine the efforts of Baxter and Brainerd.
The speed detection trailer is used as a method to discourage speeding as motorists see their speed posted. The trailer also has a message board, allowing its use as an informational tool for saturation enforcement events, even road closures. The police chiefs of both cities proposed jointly purchasing the equipment and sharing its use from week to week as a way to reduce the cost to each city. Brainerd agreed to store the detection trailer.
Baxter expects to pay $7,000 to $8,500 with $4,000 coming from the safe and sober funding and the rest from the alcohol forfeiture fund.
“We are trying to work together between jurisdictions and this is a perfect example of that,” said Administrator Gordon Heitke.
Council member Jim Klein said he was struck by a section in the joint powers agreement giving priority use to alcohol enforcement activities and wondered how it could be a tool for that.
Police Chief Jim Exsted said the trailer’s message capability will come into play as the city participates in 12 to 18 saturation activities each year, such as the DWI saturation enforcement. The trailer will not be used to stop a vehicle, but as a deterrent as a speed reducer, Exsted said.
“I think we could use that trailer every single day because every neighborhood wants it,” said Mayor Darrel Olson, noting neighborhoods with side streets where residents report people are driving through at high speed.