CRESTVIEW — Although traffic accidents have increased over the years in and around Crestview, the number of members in the Crestview Police Department traffic division has not.
The unit, which had only two officers, actually no longer exists.
Brian Hughes, CPD public information officer, said the traffic division was phased out last summer, as all officers are now responsible for traffic control.
"We don't have a dedicated traffic unit any longer because all of our patrol officers serve as traffic officers as well. This system provides more eyes on the roads than the previous two-officer traffic division," Hughes said.
"The biggest advantage is it provides more eyes on the city's traffic. If an officer spots a wreck or another traffic incident, he or she can instantly respond to it rather than having to call a traffic officer who might be busy on a stop or at a location more distant from the incident than the officer who witnesses it.
"In the same way, if our Dispatch Center receives a citizen call about a traffic incident, our dispatchers can send the closest officer to the scene rather than diverting a traffic officer from a stop or from a location farther from the event," Hughes said.
On each shift, four officers patrol a zone, coming to each other's aid as needed. There is also a patrol sergeant, and sometimes a corporal, on patrol for the CPD's two shifts to cover the whole city as needed, according to Hughes.
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