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2017 Officer Traffic Safety Winner
Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff’s Office
At the end of 2015, after sustaining 11 on-duty collisions that resulted in major injury to either an employee or a county resident, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) introduced a new mindset to their officers: “Get there safe and get there alive.” This was a change from the older philosophy of “Get there first get there fast.”
The SCSO began working to incorporate the Below-100 training and its tenets into in-service training and into departmental messaging. All the agency supervisors attended a presentation by Kim Schlau, the mother of two teenage girls killed in a collision with an Illinois state trooper speeding to a call. The presentation was recorded and has been included in mandatory roll call training. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has distributed Below-100 posters to all their precincts, offices and contract city locations.
They updated their pursuit policy to be more restrictive and created a Driving Review Board (DRB), which meets monthly to review all agency pursuits and on-duty collisions. The Sheriff’s Office is also installing telematics into all patrol cars. This new technology will allow the department to identify unsafe driving behaviors that can be addressed by supervisors and in training.