Law Enforcement & Wrecks

It's something many of you may have  experienced at least once in your life......a car accident. 
But have you ever thought about how often local  law enforcement is involved in car accidents?

The answer may surprise you. With more let's go to NewsChannel 10's Jennifer Best spoke with Amarillo police,  and Randall and Potter counties to find out how many accidents they've been involved in this year. 
So far in 2006 Amarillo police patrol cars have been involved in about 65 accidents. Randall County has been in 4 and Potter County about  5.

Sargent Tenbrink with the APD say while that number may sound like a lot it's not.  "When you really look at it 65 wreck and driving hundreds of thousands of miles  that not a bad safety record at all. "Most of those wrecks are not the officers fault.

While a few are .... All officers go through special defensive driving training to avoid accidents. 
 And when it comes to all these wrecks many things factor into why they happen. 
 "Our vehicle wrecks mirror the wrecks that the general public have we have dwi drivers running into police officers."

Other factors include people not yielding, backing into one another, and weather. And when these wrecks can cost the city or county a lot of money. If a patrol car is totaled it can cost any where from 22-thousand dollars to 50-thousand.

Heres something else interesting... Law enforcement may drive faster in an emergency situation but Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate says their still thinking about everyone's safety. 
"Tthat's a universal police thing... Is that guys think I've got to get their at all costs just blow and go but that's not the case you have to constantly educate your can't do anyone any good if you don't get their safely."

Law enforcement officials say out of all the wrecks.... None of the officers or deputies suffered major injures. 

While authorities say the accident numbers are not high officials tell us they always strive to lower the number of wrecks they are involved in whether it is their fault or not.