As BPD faces staffing challenges in 2022, the Traffic Division was one of several units assigned back to the Patrol Division to augment staffing and respond to 9-1-1 calls. This need changed the day-to-day function of the Traffic Division officers, as they are no longer specifically focused on traffic issues.
The Traffic Division is still responsible for investigating serious injury, fatal, felony and police vehicle collisions. The traffic officers utilize the total station and scanning equipment to provide forensic mapping for these collisions as well as major felony investigations and officer-involved shootings. All Traffic Officers are trained as technical collision investigators and several are collision reconstruction investigators. These officers provide expert testimony in courts of law.
Though the officers are currently assigned to the Patrol Division, the primary purpose of the Traffic Division remains promoting safe and efficient flow of vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the city of Bellingham. The officers of the Traffic Division focus on the three “E’s” of Traffic Safety to accomplish this task. These “E’s” are:
Enforcement: Traffic Officers enforce the Federal, State, and Local laws focusing on those rules which when not followed lead to the most collisions.
- The Traffic Division enforcement plan includes random patrols, neighborhood complaint enforcement, emphasis patrols, and our primary focus on those areas with the highest incident of crashes.
- We also investigate vehicular collisions and take enforcement action when appropriate.
Engineering: Traffic Officers are in regular communication with the city’s traffic engineers.
- Together we work to make the roadways safer through proper design, signage, and traffic calming measures.
Education: Bellingham Traffic Officers provide education to the public on safe driving practices.
- We do safety talks at schools, businesses, and community meetings.
- Traffic officers also provide training to other officers on safe emergency vehicle operations.