Police Improving Safey, Saving Cash Through More Driver Training

A police effort to reduce the number of officers who get into car accidents is paying off with less crashes and substantial cost savings, a top police official said today.

According to Deputy Commissioner Patricia Giorgio-Fox, police vehicle accidents dropped from 731 in 2008 to 622 in 2009, a 15 percent decline which she attributed largely to increased driver training provided to officers.

And less accidents means less injury claims, Giorgio-Fox said. In the 2009 fiscal year, which ran from July 1 2008 through June 30, 2009, the police department spent $3.6 million on injury claims. For the first eight months of the current fiscal year, they’ve spent $853,743.

“We assume we’re spending a third of what we spent in the past,” said Giorgio-Fox, who gave a presentation on the data at a PhillyStat meeting today.