PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - Starting next month, four new police officers will monitor the highways around Prichard.
It's a partnership the city said it made with a private company to beef up traffic enforcement and raise money all at the same time.
Mayor Troy Ephriam said because of limited resources for the police department, officers have not been able to enforce traffic laws along I-65 and I-165.
"There's no way to downplay the need for increased public safety," said Ephriam.
On Dec. 14, the city council approved a new partnership with iTraffic.
It's a private company that will provide $50,000 to hire four new police officers. Money will also be provided for cars, motorcycles and equipment.
These officers can attend to normal police duties, but they will be specifically tasked with pulling over speeding drivers on the interstates.
City officials said they've had a problem with speeders and accidents on these roads. In fact, local racers are known to frequent I-165 northbound because it's a long straight road with no police officers.
Money from the tickets will be divvied up between the city and iTraffic.
Prichard officials expect to gain up to $400,000 a year through this enterprise.
Ephriam said, "It should not be perceived as a speed trap or something whereby the city is just grabbing or reaching for revenues without any substantial basis. This is a program that we believe truly will work."
Prichard officials said they will evaluate this program for a few months, but the mayor is optimistic that it's a win-win for the city
Mayor Ephriam said if the program is successful, then in a few months, iTraffic will install speed cameras along the interstate.
And with that, the mayor expects the city to gain up to $2 million a year from the ticket fees.
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