Dixfield police to step up seat-belt enforcement

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DIXFIELD — Coming into the Memorial Day weekend, the Police Department is reminding travelers to drive safely and buckle up.

The department is more actively monitoring and enforcing Maine’s mandatory seat-belt law as part of a Seat Belt Click It or Ticket grant it received this year, Sgt. Jeffrey Howe said.

The fine for not buckling up is $70 for the first offense, $160 for the second and $340 for the third offense, he said.

“The Dixfield Police Department has hope that it will be receiving an OUI grant from the state’s Bureau of Highway Safety,” Howe said. “The department in one 56-hour-manned OUI detail last year, arrested six drivers for OUI,” Howe said. “That level of effectiveness encouraged us to apply for a $5,000 grant.”

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The department is in the process of applying for a COPS grant, Chief Richard Pickett said. It would give the department a fifth officer for four years while only costing the department a one-year officer salary.

“The fifth officer would help us do some things that the department has wanted and needed to do for awhile,” Pickett said, “such as expand our investigative department, do more cold case investigation and put an officer into the Dixfield schools for several hours a week.”

dfayen@sunjournal.com

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