New motorist assist program gaining national attention

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The Hanover County Sheriff's Office is receiving national attention for the success of it's newly formed motorist assist program. We first told you about this volunteer initiative last summer.

Volunteers spend a lot of time helping drivers on major thoroughfares like Route 301; that way instead of changing a tire, sheriff's deputies can focus on other community issues.

The Hanover County Sheriff's Office averages 20 calls for service a day related to traffic issues, so the Motorist Assist Program has been a big help.

"Changing tires, people running out of gas, they direct traffic for us at accidents scenes for us; they do a lot of things that do a great service to our citizens and allow our officers to work in other areas," said Captain Mike Trice

The National Association of Counties recognizes innovative programs that enhance county governments, and the organization zeroed on Hanover's motorist assist.

"More than anything, it's a recognition of those gentlemen coming out here, committing their own time for nothing, purely volunteer giving back to the community," said Trice.

As part of a growing volunteer initiative, the Sheriff's Office now has 17 people trained to participate in the program. Volunteers like Fred Martin patrol in pairs. Those participating in this program have graduated from the Citizens Police Academy and have completed additional training in basic first aid, traffic direction, radio communications, and other safety procedures.

Volunteers work at the busiest times like nights and weekends on the busiest roads like Route 54 and Bell Creek. They are already gearing up for next weekend when it will be busy along pole green road for Tomato Festival traffic.

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