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Best way to become a traffic unit?

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  • Best way to become a traffic unit?

    I don't mind humping calls, but my real joy is traffic. I enjoy making stops, and making contact with the community. The problem is that we're a small agency with no dedicated traffic unit. Our Chief is real good with approving training classes, and even putting us up for a few nights out of town if need be.

    My question is, other than the basic radar and laser certifications, what classes can I take that relate to traffic, and would make me more attractive? The biggest problem is going to be convincing the Chief that we need a dedicated traffic officer, so any classes I can take to do that, i'd be willing. Thanks for any help

  • #2
    DWI classes, anything to do with dwi always is good for traffic plus in court it helps.
    John D. MacDonald, "The early bird who catches the worm works for someone who comes in late and owns the worm farm."

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    • #3
      I am mostly a dedicated traffic unit. In my previous department we did not have a dedicated traffic officer at night, but b/c of experience I mostly was a "cover car" which allowed me to focus on traffic. I like traffic mainly to see what else I can get, not just for the tickets.

      Take some DUI classes, THI is another good one. Most of all, when you are not going call to call make sure to do traffic, and keep stats on what you get from it. Bring that to your chiefs attention and see where you get.
      In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

      In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

      Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

      I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


      The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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      • #4
        It's a little off the wall, but start by taking a few courses in commercial vehicle enforcement. Truck violations (particularly being overweight) abound and the fines for them tend to be huge, generating considerable income for your municipality.

        A buddy of mine learned the commercial end a few years ago and is the only one on his department doing it. Because the fines from his commercial cites are usually running around $60,000 a week (I think his city gets half of that), his agency protects him like an endangered species.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Also take some advanced traffic collision investigation courses.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vtfuzz
            Also take some advanced traffic collision investigation courses.

            +1

            Also, involve yourself with some tactical vehicle stops training.

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            • #7
              the bottom line

              Sir-
              The bottom line is always the bottom line..
              Show how (by crash stats, speeding stats, maybe some grant $) making you a traffic officer will generate income, enhance public safety and/or enhance the department's image
              10% of the cops do 90% of the work

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              • #8
                You can always join the Highway Patrol(if your state has one).
                I really enjoy working traffic myself, much better than working service calls infact.

                I've considered the North Carolina Highway Patrol, and the California Highway Patrol. They are hard pressed for recruits right now, if you don't mind a few trips for hiring process, and another tough academy.

                I work for a county right now, but it was always a dream of mine to be a Trooper, or work for a Highway Patrol. Unfortunatly my state doesn't have a Highway Patrol, and we haven't had a State Trooper Academy since like 2003.
                "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Squader01
                  I work for a county right now, but it was always a dream of mine to be a Trooper, or work for a Highway Patrol. Unfortunatly my state doesn't have a Highway Patrol, and we haven't had a State Trooper Academy since like 2003.
                  Do you mind if I ask what state you're in? I would think that if if your state doesn't have a "highway patrol," the state police would do highway patrol on your state highways.

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                  • #10
                    Michigan, no dedicated Highway Patrol. But like you say, our State Police do some Highway Patrolling. Though most agencies can jump on Highways usually. But our State Police are also responsibile for alot of general law enforcement stuff too. Our highway traffic in Michigan has never been as bad compared to other states, those big lakes serve as barries except to our direct south. So no cross state traffic really occurs, unless one is canada bound.

                    And even if I did want to join our State Police here in Michigan I couldn't, they haven't had a recruit class since 2003ish I think? I should see about founding my own agency, the Michigan Highway Patrol, full fleet of Dodge Chargers with full LED lighting. yummy..

                    Do any states have both State Police, and Highway Patrols?
                    "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Squader01
                      Do any states have both State Police, and Highway Patrols?
                      Until they merged in 1995, California had both a State Police and a Highway Patrol.

                      The CSP was charged with providing for the physical security of the Governor, Constitutional Officers, elected state officials and visiting dignitaries on state business.

                      They also investigated crimes committed on state property, against state government or against state employees. (The only exception here was that they didn't provide police services to those state agencies that already maintained their own police departments for purposes of self protection such as state universities, state parks, state mental hospitals, etc.)

                      Additionally, the CSP served as bailiffs in the State Supreme and Appellate Courts, and served as an enforcement arm for smaller state law enforcement and regulatory agencies by serving their arrest warrants and performing civil seizures. Finally, the CSP also contracted its personnel out to serve as Chiefs of several smaller state law enforcement and public safety agencies.

                      At the time of the merger, the CSP was 108 years old while the CHP was only 66 years old.
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                      • #12
                        You can also benefit in the private sector with your experience working traffic. I know of a couple of guys on our dept. that are expert traffic cops. They work off duty for private companies (i.e. ins. co.) recreating traffic collision. They make so much money, that being a cop is just a hobby now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L-1
                          Until they merged in 1995, California had both a State Police and a Highway Patrol.

                          The CSP was charged with providing for the physical security of the Governor, Constitutional Officers, elected state officials and visiting dignitaries on state business.

                          They also investigated crimes committed on state property, against state government or against state employees. (The only exception here was that they didn't provide police services to those state agencies that already maintained their own police departments for purposes of self protection such as state universities, state parks, state mental hospitals, etc.)

                          Additionally, the CSP served as bailiffs in the State Supreme and Appellate Courts, and served as an enforcement arm for smaller state law enforcement and regulatory agencies by serving their arrest warrants and performing civil seizures. Finally, the CSP also contracted its personnel out to serve as Chiefs of several smaller state law enforcement and public safety agencies.

                          At the time of the merger, the CSP was 108 years old while the CHP was only 66 years old.
                          L-1,

                          That's interesting, so did the California Highway Patrol assume all of those duties with the merger? Or did some of that stuff pass, and change with the merger? CHiPpies as Baliffs in the State Supreme, and serving arrest warrants? I guess no more AAA with a badge traffic cop cutdowns to the CHP if they do all of that stuff now too. I thought they were mainly traffic enforcement, and started to do some general LE stuff, and patrol work in certain areas.
                          "I'm the man who invented the wheel, and built the Eiffle Tower out of metal and brawn, that's what kind of man I am. You? You're just a women with a small brain." -Ron Burgundy

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Squader01
                            L-1,

                            That's interesting, so did the California Highway Patrol assume all of those duties with the merger? Or did some of that stuff pass, and change with the merger? CHiPpies as Baliffs in the State Supreme, and serving arrest warrants? I guess no more AAA with a badge traffic cop cutdowns to the CHP if they do all of that stuff now too. I thought they were mainly traffic enforcement, and started to do some general LE stuff, and patrol work in certain areas.
                            All of the duties were taken over by CHP. High profile duties and ones that allow constant interaction with the governor and legislature have pretty much remained the same or at greater levels (dignitary protection, police services to state agencies in the capitol, etc.) However, police services to state agencies and facilities elsewhere in the state appear to have diminished considerably.

                            In the two years prior to the merger, the CSP underwent a drastic budget cut and lost half of its sworn and civilian staff (they went from 450 people to 225). At the time of the merger, CHP had roughly 10,000 sworn and civilians. So, with 10,000 people dedicated to traffic, versus 250 dedicated to general law enforcement, you can pretty well guess where the priorities ended up.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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