Salem withdraws from traffic patrol grant program

town-of-salem-sign-webThe Salem Town Board in a split vote at Monday’s regular board meeting withdrew from a state grant program targeting the enforcement of speed and seat belt laws.

Supervisors Ted Kmiec, Dan Campion and Mike Culat voted to withdraw; Chairman Diann Tesar and Supervisor Dennis Faber voted against withdrawing.

The WISE grant raised questions from the board in June, when they said they were not aware the town was participating until they read about it in local media. Some board members also were concerned that the program had increased traffic stops — especially along Highway 50 — by the town’s public safety officers.

Public Safety Chief David Shortess said the goal of the grant program is to enforce speed laws and seat belt laws. The town was awarded $30,000, with half to go to speed law enforcement and half to seat belt enforcement. It requires a contact — not necessary a citation — every 45 minutes during patrol covered by the grant program. The town will now return about $25,000 to the state to be used by other municipalities in the program.

Kmiec made the motion to withdraw from the grant. His motion also included a provision that participation in future grants require board approval.

“I don’t think we belong in this grant,” Kmiec said. “I don’t think we ever did.”

Shortess presented stats at the meeting that showed a steady increase in injury crashes in the town from 2011 to 2014. Crashes dipped in 2015 to 76 from 95 the year before after Salem Public Safety increased hours of traffic patrol.

“I am sure it has had some sort of effect,” Kmiec said.

Faber said he agreed with Kmiec’s provision for the board approving future grants, but he would have liked to have seen Shortess present a plan for spending the remaining money in this year’s WISE grant.

Tesar said the board would discuss the topic of how involved the town should be in traffic patrol at the committee of the whole meeting Monday.



  1. A.salem tax payer says:

    In a time when we need more interaction with our law enforcement to show that law enforcement is there for our safety a simple speed warning shows that fact, and could save life’s. But as always we will be saying “we should have” or ” why did this happen” when a crash happens. To the town of Salem I remind you that there are school bus stops on “interstate 50” highway 50. And I remind everyone there is a very large grade school on state route 83 whit elementary school children trying to cross I see public safety there at times. But you want to take the funds away and not provide them a different source of funding. You of course will reply that’s for Kenosha County deal with. Although a true statement why not have more efforts there and make it safer. But we will always be reactive instead of proactive.

  2. Concerned says:

    The way the Silver Lake dissolvers talk you would think the Salem Town Board were the pros. Looks like they did not even know their Public Safety Dept. had gotten this grant. Odd they did not see the money and wonder where it came from. Why do they call it “Public Safety Officer” instead of “Police Officer”? Is there a difference? Seems they are acting like police.
    If the combining with Silver Lake is approved and we are all a big village then what? Seems if we are the 4th largest village in WI we would need a police department. Hiring Sheriff’s Dept might be an option but would it be cost effective for the larger group/area? Either way is fine by me. But we should look at the most cost effective way to provide this vital service.

  3. A Salem tax on payer says:

    If Salem will be the fourth largest village, then expand the public safety to be police department. Let the Sheriff worry about the county. It’s not a village yet and we have public safety on 50 why did someone see the need for them there? In the first place? And need them on 83 where is law enforcement when public safety isn’t there? What was the result from public safety being there if it wasn’t needed then there should not been any citations or warnings issued right? But there were!! So now ask your self why that happened because they were needed and ask who should be there instead of Public Safety? And why were they not there? Well we should see if State patrol will sit at Our schools and on 50. We need public safety by our schools in the morning. Remembe Silver Lake every morning you had a officer at the school slowing down traffic when you had a Police Department how about now? To Salem how often is there a law enforcement officer checking traffic at Salem grade or Trevor grade when public safety is not there? but if you pay for it you will get it? right? Hey Silver Lake have you heard that one before? We DO PAY It ITS COUNTY TAX!! Salem is in the County should be part of our taxes right but we have to ask for them to monitor speed. Because it’s not obvious they should be at our schools?

    Reactive not proactive that’s our Society !

    we have a check and balance system in the US let’s be the boss of our own Police.

    People please listen and use your voice we need are own police department. We need to have the power to effectively make changes when we as a Society dem fit to do so.

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