Pinal County sheriff gets 2 grants for traffic enforcement & jail safety

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has received two grants, one for traffic and DUI enforcement, and the other to purchase safety equipment for detention officers.

The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded an $85,000 grant to the sheriff’s office for enforcement and public education efforts to reduce driving fatalities and crashes through enforcement of impaired driving and speeding, Tim Gaffney, spokesman for the PCSO, said in a news release.

The money will be used to conduct speed enforcement details throughout the county including school zones and monthly DUI saturation patrols.

The sheriff’s office also received more than $6,000 in grant funding from the Apache Gold Casino Resort and the San Carlos Apache Tribe to purchase new safety equipment, including stab proof vests and riot helmets, for the Adult Detention Facility’s Special Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T).

S.E.R.T was recently developed in the jail to reduce officer assaults and to increase officer and inmate safety. S.E.R.T is currently made up of 12 detention officers, one commander and two assistant commanders, Gaffney said. Team members were selected after successfully passing several rigorous training scenarios presented by the Pinal County SWAT team.

The primary function of S.E.R.T. is searching for contraband, but the team is also called out for inmate disturbances, cell extractions, cell searches, forced cell moves and high-risk transports of inmates and detainees, Gaffney said.