Toward Zero Deaths
Austin Police Department participates in the TZD Program (Toward Zero Deaths), formerly known as the Safe and Sober Program. The Police Department and the Mower County Sheriff’s Office receive annual grants to provide TZD traffic enforcement throughout the year. The grants cover overtime incurred by the officers, deputies, and dispatch services during specific enforcement hours.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety works hand in hand with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch a campaign of information to the public of upcoming enforcement waves and enhanced traffic enforcement. This is accomplished through Public Service Announcements with local and state media. For our part in southeast Minnesota, the Police Department has made Public Service Announcements for the campaigns with the help of KAAL TV.
The Police Department and the Mower County Sheriff’s Office work an average of 400 hours annually on the TZD Program. They average 750 vehicle stops with 350 citations written, along with several DWIs during the specified waves. There are also numerous drug and vehicle seizures, and outstanding warrants with several arrests. Austin and Mower County have an average seat belt compliance of 90% during the waves worked by the officers and deputies.
In addition to the traffic enforcement, officers working the TZD Program provide Austin and Mower County with extra police presence, which helps deter criminal activity. The officers and deputies that work the TZD waves are doing a great job and they bring a lot of energy to the TZD Program. In return this encourages and motivates other officers and deputies not working the TZD waves, which makes all of us better officers and deputies.