THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, February 1, 2019 Page 3 ASKS | from page 1 partment’s drug unit. Giorgetti received a promotion to lieutenant in 2008 and eventually became lieutenant detective in charge of criminal investigations. In 2012 he became assistant chief under Police Chief Domenic DiMella. When DiMella retired last September, Giorgetti assumed the position of interim police chief. He is married with children. Some highlights of the interview follow. Q: What are your major concerns about the level of safety for people driving, bicycling or walking through Saugus? A: I think the major concerns are the motorists’ habits, specifically driving distracted, texting on the phone, inattentive driving – either because they’re playing or trying to do something within the console of the motor vehicle and they’re not attentive to their surroundings – and impaired driving. I think impaired driving is a big one, especially with alcohol and marijuana starting to come into that. There are some questions on how we are going to proceed criminally with those cases and establish probable cause in court. Those are my major concerns. We’re trying to address those through various traffic and safety grants from the traffic safety program that we have for impaired driving and distracted driving. They’re generally incorporated throughout the Commonwealth. As staffing permits, we try to go out and have an officer dedicated to traffic to address those and to address the complaints from residents regarding speeding in various neighborhoods. Q: If money were not an issue, what would be your major recommendation to make the streets of Saugus safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists? A: I think what’s happened historically within the community over the last several decades is – the roadways, the way they are constructed, have never been engineered to accommodate the additional traffic. They have never been reengineered to accommodate on-street parking in specific neighborhoods and streets. I think, again, it’s the education, the enforcement and the engineering. But I think, historically, over the years, because of development we haven’t kept up with the reengineering. And over the course of time, signs or signage that was up is no longer in place or signage that was adopted was never installed. Thereby, motorists don’t have advance notice of what the particular speed limit may be, advance notice of crosswalks – things of that nature – I think those are things that need to be addressed. And I believe education is a big part of it: educating people, specifically the younger drivers, about being inattentive and the amount of distance traveled during a certain time period based on your speed and becoming distracted because of the phone or something in the car. You know what I mean: to look down to make an adjustment to the temperature is all it takes. The reaction time for a young driver is probably 1.3 or 1.5 seconds, which means by the time they observe a situation, it is going to take them about 1.3 to 1.5 seconds to see that, evaluate it and then make a determination on what they are going to do to address it. And at nighttime that jumps up to 2 to 2.5 seconds. And if you take those considerations into fact – when you have a poor line of sight, are distracted – or those incidents when they are not traveling within the posted speed limit, they all contribute to the severity of the accident and injury. Q: Following up on that, what’s on your wish list for this year’s Annual Town Meeting – things you would like to see funded? A: We will work closely with the Board of Selectmen and the manager to address the operational concerns within the budget. We’d like to see an increase in manpower so that we can have a dedicated traffic unit within the Town of Saugus to address the concerns of the residents, particularly when it comes to speeding. Q: What kind of manpower would you need for the unit … like a minimum or ideal number for a town the size of Saugus? How big a unit would that be? A: In an ideal world, I would say three officers would cover me for the full week. It’s not to say that the officers that are currently working now are not out enforcing the traffic laws and regulations. But with a dedicated unit, they become more focused to address specific concerns on certain roadways and in neighborhoods during specific time frames: the early morning commute, the evening commute, release of students from school. Whereas, if I have officers out who are currently enforcing the traffic, they may be pulled away to answer a higher priority call or a medical call. When motorists are traveling through Saugus, they’re going to be somewhat cautious if there are people out there on a continuous enforcement basis: seven days a week monitoring traffic, monitoring for violations. With the mindset that maybe they would be a little more cautious of traffic and a little more aware of their surroundings and possibly reduce their speed in accordance with the posted speed limits. Q: So, you’re talking about a three full-time officer unit and maybe some backup people, ATM on site like clerical? A: In an ideal world, subject to funding – and we’re not the only department in town that needs additional funding. There are various departments in town that need funding, and I’m sure they all have a wish list. But in a perfect world, I would be looking for three officers. Q: What are the things you can do now, realistically, to improve traffic safety, and what things have you already done or begun since becoming the interim chief? A: What we have done historically: We have been participating in all of those grants; the additional funding the department receives for mobilization periods, when we go out and specifically address pedestrian safety. We’ll have officers come in above our normal staffing levels and address those issues: distracted driving, impaired driving … the same thing. Generally, we do six to eight of those mobilizations a year. We receive that funding through the state. Within our operating budget now, depending on staffing, and the concerns brought to our attention by residents, we’ll try to go out and do selective enforcement. Generally, we try to get at least one officer – again, when staffing permits – to go ASKS | SEE PAGE 4 dine drink gather enjoy THE NORTH SHORE'S HOTTEST NIGHTCLUB! 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