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Traffic enforcement in Huron Township serves the community in multiple ways

Writing a speeding ticket on I-275 in Huron Township, Officer Fred Yono is a 35 year veteran in law enforcement. Yono has worked for Huron PD for about four months. Writing a speeding ticket on I-275 in Huron Township, Officer Fred Yono is a 35-year veteran in law enforcement. Yono has worked for Huron police’s traffic division for about four months. (Photo: Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub)

By Scott Bolthouse — Hub Editor — ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
Published July 8, 2014

Traffic enforcement has always been a controversial division of a city or township’s police department.

The common thinking among the public is that the traffic enforcement division is only there to generate revenue.

However, the Huron Township Police Department says traffic enforcement is an important policing program that benefits the community in several ways.

The Huron Hub had the opportunity to do a ride-along with traffic enforcement in July 2014.

Sitting between north and southbound I-275 in a black, tinted Huron Township police Dodge Charger, veteran Officer Fred Yono explained the public’s typical view of traffic enforcement.

“Most people think it’s all a money generator,” said Yono.

“While that’s part of it, this work also benefits the community as well.”

The high-pitch squeal of the police car’s radar can be heard, signaling a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.

Yono steps on the pedal and the engine accelerates rapidly as he pulls over a car going ten-over the speed limit, which on I-275 is 70 mph.

“If you’re going ten over or more, you’re getting pulled over,” said Yono.

Yono works for the Huron Township Police Department’s traffic division, and while one of his main duties as a traffic officer is to write tickets which generate revenue, his job isn’t limited to those responsibilities alone.

Before joining Huron’s traffic division, Yono worked traffic in Van Buren Township for eight years.

“We do things within the community as well. I work with families on child safety and car seat inspection, and have also organized mock disasters,” said Yono.

A mock disaster is a training exercise where participants are challenged to test the actions they would take in the event of a specific disaster scenario.

“I would love to do a mock disaster here in Huron Township in the future. That was the best thing I have done in my career,” he said.

One of the things that also Yono is most proud of is the fact that the traffic division in Van Buren generated enough revenue to pay for itself while being an asset to the police department’s normal day-to-day operations.

“The traffic division in Van Buren solved problems, assisted on emergency runs and paid for itself,” said Yono.

“We helped to reduce accidents, assisted on other calls and tried to do good things in the community,” he said.

Yono explained that a traffic division is also about visibility.

When people see a police presence on the roads, they naturally slow down, and slower speeds means safer travel.

“We are looking to put one or two more people into traffic,” said Yono.

Chief of Police Everette Robbins had similar things to say about building the traffic division.

“We would like to (in the future) have a more full time traffic unit,” said Robbins.

“This agency is lucky to have a person with Officer Yono’s experience and knowledge,” said Robbins.

The traffic division in Huron doesn’t limit it’s patrols to the freeway, however.

“We work selective enforcement as well — if we receive complaints from citizens, we’ll patrol those high accident or high problem areas,” said Yono.

“I don’t just sit on the freeway. If someone is breaking into your house, I’m going,” he said.

Yono noted that the peaks times for speeders on I-275 is on the weekends, and that he doesn’t hand out many tickets to township residents.

Most of the speeders he pulls over are from Ohio. He also catches several travelers that are in a hurry to get to Cedar Point.

Not all speeders get the full brunt of a ticket. Yono hands out a lot of impeding traffic and five-over tickets. Drivers who are apologetic and aware of their actions tend to be let off with a lighter infraction.

In about two hours, Officer Yono wrote twelve tickets and gave one warning.

As he handed out a ticket a ticket to a speeder, Yono received a response that many people probably wouldn’t expect.

“(The driver) thanked me very much,” said Yono. “You can’t beat that — that means we’re doing a good job.”


 

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Huron Township eligible to receive road repair funding under new initiative

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By Scott Bolthouse
Hub Editor in Chief
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Some much needed resurfacing and repair work may be coming to some roads in Huron Township in the near future.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano announced the Township Roads Initiative on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.

The initiative is designed to make funds available to help repair, resurface or reconstruct township roads.

According to a news release from Ficano’s administration, Wayne County’s nine townships are all eligible to participate. Huron Township, Canton, Redford, Northville, Brownstown, Van Buren, Plymouth, Grosse Ile and Sumpter will all have a chance to take advantage of the initiative.

According to the release, the Township Roads Initiative is a unique partnership between the Wayne County Department of Public Services and the county’s townships. The initiative will make $14 million available over the next two years to help address local township roads.

To be eligible, the roads must be zoned residential and have to be within Wayne County’s jurisdiction.

Counties are responsible for road repairs within a township, which differs from cities. Cities receive state gas tax revenues to help with road repairs.

$7 million in funds will be available for townships during the 2014-2015 fiscal years, while the other $7 million will be available during the 2015-2016 fiscal years.

In the release, Ficano stated that this initiative will bring much needed resources for residential township roads that need attention.

The initiative will be a reimbursement based program, which will require townships to match at least 20 percent of the total cost of a project to qualify. Wayne County will fund up to 80 percent of the project costs capped at the amount available for each township.

The amount of funds a township can receive will be based on population.

Huron Township, which has a population of just over 15,460, will have $500,000 available during each fiscal cycle.  The total initiative amount for Huron, which includes a 20% match by the township, will add up to $1,250,000.

Canton Township, which has the highest population when compared to the other eight townships in Wayne County, will receive an annual initiative amount of $1,500,000 for each fiscal cycle.

Each township is required to submit their proposals for repairs by November 30.

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