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Ask the Chief: Q&A with Wayne Nero

Please send your questions to info@fpgtx.com with the subject “Ask the Chief”

I think there are a lot of speeders in Georgetown. What would it take to lower the speed limit on Williams or Del Webb Blvd?

Speed limits on roads are a product of engineering. A starting point for a rational speed limit will be the 85th percentile speed. The 85th percentile speed is the speed that 85% of the vehicles do not exceed. The 85th percentile speed is used because research has shown that is it slightly slower than the upper speed boundaries of most prudent drivers. Setting a speed limit too far below the 85th percentile speed or too high above it can actually increase chances for a motor vehicle crash. Del Webb is a great example of a road where the speed is set below the 85th percentile speed. Del Webb should realistically be a 40 mph or 45 mph roadway but is set at 35 mph due to the presence of golf carts and the fact that they cannot travel on roadways posted higher than 35 mph. That is why we often have speed compliance issues on Del Webb. The key to reducing speeding is a combination of intelligent roadway design, education, and enforcement as a last resort.

Who/What are Silver Shields?

Silver Shields are volunteers with the Police Department. The mission is to build a positive connection between homebound or special needs seniors and the Police Department to help ensure the seniors have a feeling of safety, security, and inclusion in the community.

With so much in the national news about law enforcement, how are you training officers to make smart decisions?

We begin by making sure we hire the right people! We spend a significant amount of time hiring people who will exemplify our core values of professionalism, leadership, accountability, teamwork, and integrity. When you hire people that exemplify those traits, it is difficult to make bad decisions. We also provide our officers with significant amounts of training covering law, leadership, ethics, communication, and tactics. The underlying reason for all of that training is to give them the tools to make smart decisions.

What’s the best way to talk you out of giving me a ticket?

I will begin by saying that historically, the Georgetown Police Department issues warnings on 75% of the stops we make. Your chances of getting a warning are already pretty high! With that being said, our goal in conducting traffic enforcement is to achieve voluntary compliance. If an officer feels from speaking with the person stopped that voluntary compliance can be achieved in the future, then that increases the chances for a warning on the current infraction. Of course, some infractions (no insurance, warp speed) will usually result in a citation no matter what just due to the egregious nature of the violation.

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