The Northern Arizona University Police Department is getting some backup from the state to target impaired and dangerous drivers.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has awarded NAUPD $6,685 in grant funding for dedicated impaired driving enforcement. NAUPD, in partnership with the Northern Arizona Regional DUI Task Force, will have increased traffic patrols over Thanksgiving, commencement, Christmas and New Year’s.  Enforcement under the grant will continue through 2015.

The grant is the latest in a string of awards from the Office of Highway Safety that continue to strengthen NAUPD’s road safety efforts. Last year, the department was awarded a $7,000 grant for equipment related to DUI enforcement. It also received grants for bicycle, skateboard and pedestrian safety and a traffic safety electronic message board.

Together, the grants allow NAUPD to focus on protection of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists through awareness education. “Traffic safety has always been a high priority on our campus,” said NAUPD Sgt. Bradley Mihalik.  “As part of the pedestrian safety program, our officers completed 95 hours of education and enforcement during the first month of the fall semester.”

The addition of the electronic message board and impaired driving enforcement equipment provides our officers with valuable tools to relay safety messages and focus on our goal—making our students and our community safe, Mihalik said.