The Salt River Police Department (SRPD) Traffic Enforcement Bureau has received a grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in the amount of $34,000. The funding will pay for the purchase of an advanced crash-investigation system and training the traffic officers in its use.
“We will receive a GRS-1 field recorder, a piece of equipment that is going to help the SRPD Traffic Bureau to investigate vehicle accidents more efficiently,” said SRPD Sergeant Anthony Sandoval. “We are currently behind the times in this area. Only a handful of agencies in Arizona have this equipment, so we are lucky to be receiving it.”
The GRS-1 field recorder is the same survey-grade equipment that engineering departments use. When investigating collisions and the various positions of vehicles in order to determine what happened and who was at fault, officers with the SRPD Traffic Bureau will be able to connect to the recorder’s GPS and obtain measurements within centimeters of accuracy. The recorder has a base station for the remote areas of the Community; where there is a poor Wi-Fi signal, the base station will help provide service to investigators and allow them to do accurate work in those remote areas.
“It also includes a crash data retrieval system that allows us to plug into cars and collect the event data” directly from the vehicle, said Sandoval. “That will tell us the speed of the vehicle, if the brakes were applied, or if passengers were wearing seatbelts before the crash.”
All this helps the SRPD Traffic Bureau conduct more accurate, higher-quality investigation, which in turn allows for better prosecutions. It also will save money for the SRPD, explained Sandoval. With this equipment, the officers can investigate a collision in one-quarter of the usual time and with one-quarter of the personnel. For example, if it normally takes four officers to investigate a collision, the Traffic Bureau can now assign one or two officers along with the GRS-1. They will be able to complete their investigation in less time and then come back and enter the data into the system. The new equipment will replace the less-accurate procedure of using rolling measuring equipment.