Thornton Police Department Uses Grants to Improve Safety on City Roads

In 2016 and 2017, the Thornton Police Department used CDOT-awarded grants to reduce injuries and deaths occurring on Thornton roadways. The grants were managed by the department's traffic unit and were focused on traffic safety and enforcement initiatives, specifically Click it or Ticket seat belt enforcement, the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund (LEAF), and High-Visibility Impaired Driving Enforcement (HVE) DUI and Checkpoint Colorado DUI enforcement.

These grants provided overtime pay for staffing efforts, as well as equipment and materials to aid in enforcement and public education. Below is a summary of efforts conducted for each of the initiatives.

Click it or Ticket

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Click it or Ticket seat belt enforcement efforts included conducting local research into all crashes from the previous year to determine the numbers of fatalities, serious injuries, and injury crashes to establish seat belt usage rates related to these deaths and injuries. An internal education program was also created for all city employees to keep seat belt usage as a focus.

The department was also able to identify high-accident locations, and conduct group enforcement and public education efforts with the department's traffic unit, and patrol shift officers that focused on enforcement at the high-crash locations.

he department issued 407 tickets for seatbelt violations during the two-week enforcement period using only 104 overtime hours, increasing overall seat belt enforcement by 233 percent from 2016 to 2017.


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LEAF and HVE efforts included conducting additional research into times, and days and locations for enforcement planning. Funds were also used to purchase DUI enforcement car magnets to increase visibility and awareness. This helped increase participation in grants and overall DUI enforcement by 13 percent between 2015 and 2016, and 5 percent from 2016 to 2017, showing an overall increase of 18 percent from 2015 to 2017.

Checkpoint Colorado

Checkpoint Colorado efforts in 2016 included conducting three checkpoints in Thornton, where 3,168 vehicles were contacted and informational materials were distributed to 2,021. The department made 11 arrests and conducted roadside maneuvers on 22 individuals.

The department received outstanding support of department volunteers of the Citizen's Police Academy Alumni Association (, with a nearly 1-volunteer-to-1-officer ratio, completing a number of critical tasks.

A drone was used to photograph and plan checkpoint layouts and cone/sign patterns, and the department incorporated the use of new trainees during final checkpoints to help in their learning and to instill the department's commitment to DUI enforcement.

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The Thornton Police Department is proud of the additional efforts it has been able to accomplish with grant funding from CDOT, and will continue to work to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on Thornton's roadways.