Fairbanks Police Stepping Up Traffic Stops

Patrol officers in the Fairbanks Police Department have been ordered to make at least eight traffic stops per week.
In an internal memorandum to his officers, Police Chief Laren Zager ordered the new minimum last week but told officers they don't have to lead to citations.

Zager says while he expects some backlash from the public, residents should not expect major changes in enforcement.

He says the policy is tied to the theory that contact with drivers through traffic stops can reduce crime.

Zager says that police departments have figured out similarities between collisions and crime.

He says risk–taking behavior needs a place and opportunity to happen and intensive traffic enforcement hopefully leads to a drop in both collisions and crime rates.

Zager said officers have been receptive to the new department policy, which also has the blessing of Fairbanks City government officials as well.

The City Police bureau has about 30 officers assigned to patrol, and a five–member unit dedicated exclusively to DUI and traffic enforcement.