The Georgia State Patrol post serving the Golden Isles may be understaffed, but it has not stopped troopers from increasing the number of car accident investigations they have taken on in the last six months.
State patrol posts across Georgia were asked in September to investigate at least 10 percent more traffic accidents.
The 11 troopers employed at the Southeast Georgia post, which serves Camden, Glynn and Wayne counties, have been working hard to meet the quota, even without a full staff, according to Cpl. Chad Gray, assistant post commander.
A fully staffed post would have around 15 troopers, he said.
Glynn County's post is not the only one understaffed, he said.
Statewide, there are 815 troopers out of the 953 positions available, a shortage of 138, Gray said.
Working more accidents has made for busier days and long hours, he said.
"We have been working a lot more accidents," Gray said, something he hopes has been a boon for other police agencies. "It frees them up and lets them follow up on other things and patrol their jurisdiction."
Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering agreed, saying the results of the added trooper effort have been immediately evident.
From June through August, before the initiative was announced last year, Doering said his officers investigated 383 traffic accidents on public roadways in Glynn County. During the three months following September, October through December, Doering said the number of accidents county police worked dropped to 253, a 33 percent decrease.
The extra effort has freed his officers to spend more time on preventative patrols, detection of crime and solving existing crimes.
"If (our officers) are out working more wrecks, they have less time to do those three things," Doering said.
Collaboration among all law enforcement agencies is key to fighting crime more effectively, Doering said. "Anytime we have cooperation we can all do our job better," he said.
Copyright 2013 - The Brunswick News, Ga.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service