The Belchertown Police Department has always promoted itself as a Community Oriented Police Department. Most people interpret this to mean that we are friendly, approachable police officers. While this is very true, what it really means is; we are dedicated to improving the quality of life of our community members. We have endeavored to do this in many ways over the years and have continually researched and implemented new Community Policing initiatives to accomplish this mission.
A common problem that never seems to totally go away is speeding. Over the past several years the Belchertown Police Department has received numerous requests for dedicated speed/radar patrols in various neighborhoods and on certain roads. Although we take this issue seriously there is only so much we can do given the size of the town and the number of police officers working each shift. What we needed to do was work smarter and deploy our resources at optimum times.
In an effort to reduce the number of speeders in a particular area, the department purchased a Speed Trailer that was capable of displaying the speed of an approaching motorist. Typically we would deploy the Speed Trailer in a “problem spot” for several days to notify motorists what the speed limit was and also of their actual speed. We would then follow up with a dedicated radar/speed enforcement patrol in those areas. While this did have some measure of success, it was really hit and miss on bringing down the average speed of the motorists.
That particular trailer was only capable of displaying the speed of a passing motorist and was unable to provide any real data on the number or frequency of motorists violating the speed limit. What was really needed was a way to monitor and collect real time data on what was transpiring on a particular road. After much research we recently purchased a Speed Board that can be securely mounted to just about any sign post or utility pole. This new Speed Board not only displays your speed as you approach it but it also captures and stores a myriad of data. We have the ability to access the Speed Board data through a web based application that allows us to download the data in graph and chart form. Using this information we can see the number of vehicles that have passed by per hour, the average speed of those vehicles, how many were violating the speed limit and by how much. Being a small department it is vital to us to deploy our resources in the most efficient way possible. The Speed Board now gives us the ability to see what time the majority of the speed violations are occurring so that we can target those areas at the optimum times.
We hope that through the deployment of this Speed Board we will be able to address the speeding issues that are being reported. It is our plan to purchase another Speed Board in the near future so that we can be more effective in combating this problem. If you believe you have a speeding issue in your neighborhood and would like the speed board deployed please email your request using the link below.