A novel and thrifty approach to cutting the number of traffic wrecks in Shawnee, Kan., has produced one other dividend: Crime is down.
Working with a leaner budget this year, Police Chief Jim Morgan heard about a test program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It sounded too good to be true. But Morgan is a believer today with a program that cost no extra money. After running the project one month crime dropped some 27 percent in the area of 75th street, Switzer to Quivira Roads.
Morgan said, "You look at where you have crime and where you have traffic and you map that out and where the two maps merge and overlap, that's where you should concentrate your efforts."
For some reason, crime and traffic collisions are bedfellows. Morgan says the negative side is there are more wrecks as crime drops. The national safety group today singled out Shawnee for willingness to innovate.