Keeping the Program Going
Sustaining Community Support
The experience gained from the five demonstration sites and the results from the 1996 project forum focused on five critical elements for sustaining community support for this and most traffic enforcement initiatives.
- Effective program leadership (by the chief or another influential community member)
- An active community coordination or oversight group with broad membership
- An effective program coordinator or manager (usually full time)
- Effective communication of the problem, the program’s goals, and actual results to the community and program participants
- Success in saving lives, reducing injuries and property damage, increasing arrests, and achieving other goals
Each community must also engage in activities to institutionalize its local program. These activities include seeking outside sources of funding, hosting a variety of media-oriented events and activities, and using the information collected through evaluations to inform the public. The public should be kept informed about the status of specific components of the enforcement program—whether the components are working or not—and how those successes or failures are affecting the juvenile DUI problem.
Some communities, such as Albany County, were able to benefit from existing traffic safety organizations and programs such as STOP-DWI. STOP-DWI is an innovative concept that uses dedicated DUI offender fines to support official, ongoing anti-DUI efforts. In New York State, fines are dedicated at the county level to STOP-DWI programs. In Albany County, the program uses those funds to support stings, New York State Liquor Authority seminars, and victim panels to complement other local and federal Section 410 funding. When Section 410 funds were no longer available, a local health maintenance organization provided funding for local community partnerships’ underage drinking countermeasures. However, most communities with effective leadership, a supporting community group, and dedicated criminal justice system members are able to mount successful programs with existing budgets, donated services, and smart use of media.