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New additions made to traffic unit
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The Newton County Sheriff's Office traffic unit will soon welcome their newest additions when Deputy Jack Redlinger and his partner, a 2008 Harley Davidson Electra-Glide, join the team.

The unit has been active since August 2007 and is headed by NCSO Sgt. Randy Downs.

"Our job is to prevent accidents," Downs said. "We don't have quotas, we don't write tickets for the money. We are here to address citizens' concerns."

Redlinger will soon be on the road patrolling on the new motorcycle in priority areas around the county including school speed zones.

"We have been able to reduce major accidents in the county," Downs said. "There have been nine traffic fatalities so far this year, only one of which could have been prevented through our unit."

Most of the deaths were caused by driver error or failure to wear a seatbelt, Downs said.

To become a member of the traffic unit, deputies must first complete a battery of courses including crime scene investigations and DUIs. Redlinger is previously retired from a similar traffic unit in Atlanta where he also patrolled on a motorcycle.

Redlinger and the Harley will patrol during all times of the day and night, Downs said, and will be able to go places officers in a cruiser could not. The motorcycle is a first for the NCSO but might not be the last. Downs called the new addition a test run which could lead to more additions to the motor pool.

Buying more motorcycles instead of patrol cars has several financial benefits including better gas mileage, cheaper maintenance and an initial cost which is less than half of a cruiser, said Downs.