11/20/17 – The Dodge County Sheriff hopes a more pro-active approach to law enforcement will reduce the number of fatal crashes. The strategy is called “Problem-Oriented Policing” and targets the root-cause of issues in order to address them on a daily basis. Dodge County has had 18 fatalities to date this year, which is seven more than the five-year average. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says with an increase of traveler’s due to the Thanksgiving holiday, his department will begin a crash reduction effort. He says over the next several months drivers will see an increase in police presence at various points throughout the day. Schmidt says his deputies will work overtime and shift hours to target hotspot areas in the county such as Highway’s 151, 33, and 16/60. According to the Bureau of Transportation, the economic impact from crashes in Dodge County is roughly $95.5-million dollars a year which stems from medical costs, insurance payouts as well as law enforcement, fire, and EMS response. Schmidt says motorists will see citations instead of warnings for exceeding the posted speed limit. He says everyone needs to participate in order to make this effort a success and reduce the number of fatal crashes by 25 to 50-pecent next year. Schmidt says the three areas of focus during the campaign are speed, inattentive driving, and stop sign violators. The sheriff is also meeting with county judges to discuss giving less breaks in handing down penalties. The official kickoff for the initiative is this Wednesday.