New Bern PD receives $60,000 in grant funding for highway safety programs

New Bern Police Department (Todd Wetherington)
New Bern Police Department (NBN Photo/Todd Wetherington)

The New Bern Police Department has received a total of $60,000 thanks to three grants from the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The grants will be used to beef up the department’s highway safety efforts, according to New Bern Police Chief Patrick Gallagher.

The largest grant, for $30,000, will reimburse the City of New Bern for costs associated with NBPD law enforcement liaison Sgt. William Zerby, who was appointed to execute local safety programs such as Click It or Ticket, Booze It or Lose It, No Need 2 Speed, and NC Bike Safety. Zerby was appointed as one of 11 liaison officers throughout the state that help execute the safety programs in the region, they are responsible for along with monitoring and tracking equipment and training.

The NBPD has also received a $25,000 NCGHSP grant to fund overtime for officers to work high visibility traffic enforcement, with a focus on seatbelt and speed limit enforcement. The funds will reimburse the city for overtime accrued by NBPD officers while performing Highway Safety Program initiatives. 

Gallagher said the NBPD will use the overtime funding to engage in more traffic enforcement opportunities. He said speeding is one of the top complaints the department receives from community members.

“There is no shortage of roads and streets in this town that could use another officer running radar,” Gallagher said. 

The New Bern Police Department will also take advantage of a $5,000 grant from BikeSafe NC, an initiative of the NCGHSP in partnership with law enforcement agencies. The program seeks to reduce motorcycle crashes and fatalities on North Carolina roadways. The funding will be used locally for training and traffic-related programs associated with motorcycle safety, Gallagher said.

No matching funds were required from the city for any of the three grants, which were approved by the New Bern Board of Aldermen at their August 22 meeting.

The federally funded North Carolina Governor’ s Highway Safety Program works to promote highway safety awareness and reduce the number of traffic crashes and fatalities in the state through the planning and execution of safety programs. The funds are dispersed across North Carolina to promote highway safety activities, provide training for law enforcement staff and the acquisition of equipment. 

By Todd Wetherington, co-editor. Send an email with questions or comments.