The Town of Smithfield has seen a steady increase in traffic accidents since 2013.
In response to the increase in collisions, the Smithfield Police Department will apply for a $1,060,000 Governors Highway Safety Program (GHSP) grant to hire three police officers and create a traffic safety team.
Chief Michael Scott received approval from the Smithfield Town CouncilTuesday night to apply for the grant.
The 3 year grant would pay for the majority of the officer’s salaries, patrol cars, radios, video cameras, and fuel. The town would have to pay for 15 percent of the cost the first year, 30 percent the second year, and 50 percent the third year. The estimated cost to the Town would be about $300,000 Chief Scott said.
The deadline to apply for the grant is January 2016. The state will notify the town in October 2016 if they are awarded the funds.
From 2013 to 2014, Smithfield saw an increase of 111 traffic accidents. Chief Scott said officers are investigating about 10 more crashes each month this year compared to 2014 numbers.
The new traffic safety team, if funded, would be tasked with reducing crashes and increasing highway safety.