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ACPD focusing on traffic safety and mental health awareness

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County is focusing on traffic safety and mental health after reviewing and releasing its 2020 Annual Report.

Last year during the coronavirus pandemic, traffic stops fell by more than 65% from recent years to reduced in-person contact.

ACPD Police Chief Ron Lantz says it’s important to educate drivers again about the dangers of speed and distracted driving.

“This Memorial weekend we had four extra officers assigned to overtime just for traffic control, traffic enforcement, and education,” Lantz said. “We’re getting back to where we were pre-pandemic where we were able to enforce and get people to slow down.”

The report also showed that the number of suicides in Albemarle County continued to increase in 2020, for a total of 19 lives lost.

“During the pandemic we saw a spike in certain calls for service regarding people that were in crisis, so training and more training and hiring the right people number one is the most important for me as the chief to make sure I have gotten the right resources out there to help the community,” Lantz said.

Despite the challenges the pandemic presented, Lantz says he’s proud of the whole community for stepping up and getting through this together.

“I think this community in particular did a phenomenal job of getting through this together, and now that we’re getting back to normal I ask people to slow down on the road, obey the speed limit, wear your seat belt, and put the phone down because we are back out doing what we were doing pre-pandemic,” the police chief said.

You can read the entire ACPD annual report here.

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