The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

March 31, 2014

Grant helps APD boost ranks, fleet

Sunday, March 30, 2014 — The Albemarle Police Department has a new traffic officer and unmarked SUV patrolling the streets.

Through a grant issued by the Governor’s Highway Safety program, the Traffic Enforcement Unit recently added a third officer to its ranks.

The grant will provide 85 percent of the funds needed for the position and vehicle this year, about $92,000. The city will fund the remaining 15 percent, about $16,000.

Next year the grant will pay 70 percent of those costs. The third year it will pay 50 percent.

After that the city will decide if it wants to continue to fund that position by itself.

Capt. J.D. Huneycutt said that’s how many new positions start for police departments across the state.

Albemarle’s other two traffic officer positions were also initiated through Governor Highway Safety Program grants. The city took over 100 percent of those costs in 2008.

The grant also provides funds for a new and fully-equipped police vehicle for the officer, a value of about $55,500.

For this time, though, the department opted not for a traditional police car, but for an unmarked 2014 Ford Explorer.

“It helps a lot when you’re out on the roads,” Officer T.J. Hartsall, who was selected for the new position, said.

He worked with Albemarle for five years as a patrol officer prior to applying for the traffic officer position.

“Most people look for bar lights,” Hartsall said.

“This makes them less wary.”

While he will continue to assist the department as a whole, Hartsall’s big priority is now keeping the roads safe.

“We’re really serious about cracking down on driving while impaired,” Hartsall said.

Since he was brought onto the unit, he’s tried to initiate two traffic stops a day.

“Me, personally, I’m real strict on car seats and child restraints,” Hartsall said.

“If you’ve got a child in the car and they’re not buckled up, I will give you a citation.”

He said the unit’s other priorities are enforcing the move-over law, which requires drivers to move to the lane farthest from an officer when he or she pulls someone over, and reducing the amount of speeding in the city.

“But I’m also here to educate people,” Hartsall said.

One of the mandates of Governor’s Highway Safety Program is to provide education about vehicle and road safety.

“Really that’s a big part of keeping the roads safe, educating people on how to be safe,” Hartsall said.

“Particularly the younger generation. They need to know what the consequences are.”

Hartsall has been out to schools, led classes at Marvin Smith’s Driving School in Albemarle and talked with individuals convicted of DWI at Monarch since taking up his new position.

“I love what I do and I’m proud to do what I do,” Hartsall said.

“This is a great program.”

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at shannon@stanlynewspress.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police ready for night out

    Expect a swarm of cops at Roosevelt Ingram Park.
    No, there is no trouble brewing. Aug. 5 marks the annual National Night Out when police officers converge with their respective communities as part of an effort to strengthen relations between law enforcement officers and the public they serve.

    July 30, 2014

  • Eagle Scout Award Stanfield Scout receives Eagle rank

    Wade Mullins of Boy Scout Troop 27 in Stanfield recently earned his Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wool Pool Wool pool draws farmers near, far

    “Yes, sir, yes, sir. Three bags full,” goes “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” the children’s nursery rhyme. Various bags of wool were assembled in Stanly County this week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police chief resigns

    Stanfield is on the lookout for someone to lead its Police Department following the July 18 resignation of Chief James Schneider. Officer Corie Faggart has been named interim chief while the town seeks interviewees for the post.

    July 28, 2014

  • 24-27 back on list

    After an outpouring of public comment on the N.C. Highway 24-27 project,  the N.C. Department of Transportation says it may have a chance at funding once again.

    July 28, 2014

  • Youth Choir State youth choir shares message in scripture, song

    They came, they sang, they shared a message.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lending A Hand Red Cross, YMCA discuss emergency preparedness

    They may not be in the Coast Guard, or even in the Boy Scouts, but the kids at this year’s YMCA camp can now say they follow the same motto: always be prepared.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dragon Boat Resident wants to bring boat races to Stanly

    Ann Pressly is not ripping herself off with the idea of bringing dragon boat racing to Stanly County. She is just taking advantage of a good thing and something that is gaining in popularity.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board hopeful files to oppose Poole

    District 1 Board of Education member Melvin Poole has something he has not had since 1998, an opponent.

    July 21, 2014

  • Crisco died of heart issues

    An autopsy report released this week indicates former secretary of commerce Keith Crisco died from heart problems.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide