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Currently there are 7 officers who are trained Accident Reconstructionists, and 2 Advanced Accident Investigators. These officers are called out to investigate all fatality and any serious injury accidents where possible criminal charges may be filed. Accident Reconstructionists are required to have 5 weeks of intensive training at the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Advanced Accident Investigators receive 3 weeks of training also at the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The Traffic unit is also responsible for all the Breath Alcohol Testing
Instruments for the Department. The Department uses two types of Breath
Alcohol Instruments, the BAC Verifier and the Alco-Sensor IV. The
Department has 5 Type II operators that are licensed by the State
of Missouri Department of Health. They are required to do monthly
maintenance on all of the instruments so they meet the criteria set
forth by the State of Missouri Department of Health. The Type II’s
are also responsible for training other personnel and the total repair
of the instruments.
Recognition Experts (DRE)
The Traffic Unit also has 3 Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), these
officers are able to identify impaired subjects who are using controlled
substances that are not readily identifiable, such as alcohol. To
become a Drug Recognition Expert it is necessary to complete 76 hours
of technical training with many hours of practical exercises. Some
of the many drugs that are easily detected by a DRE are marijuana,
heroin, PCP, LSD, cocaine, methamphetamine, inhalants, and depressants.
A DRE performs a series of tests on an individual such as balance
tests, physical tests, and visual tests to determine what category
of drug they are on.
The St. Joseph Police Department utilizes several types of speed measuring
devices. All patrol vehicles are equipped with a handheld Stalker
KA band moving/stationary radar. All traffic vehicles including motorcycles
are equipped with Stalker Dual KA band moving/stationary radar with
front and rear antennas. Traffic officers are also equipped with Stalker
handheld LIDAR units, these are most commonly known as LASER radar.
With the use of LIDAR, operators are able to single out violators
on heavily traveled roadways with great accuracy and distance. The
Department has 3 active RADAR and LIDAR instructors. These officers
are responsible for training and certifying new personnel and are
also responsible for the maintenance and repair of all department
RADAR and LIDAR units.
The hours of primary use
are from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., other uses include sobriety checkpoints,
roadside safety checks, and accident investigation.
Unit currently utilizes a SMART trailer. The trailer is placed at
designated locations throughout the city. These locations are generally
determined based on requests for speed enforcement. Statistical data
regarding time of day, number of vehicles, and vehicle speeds are
captured. A second SMART trailer will be in service very soon. Both
SMART trailers were purchased with LLEBG funds. Questions regarding
the speed survey trailers or speed enforcement may be directed to
the Traffic Unit at (816) 271-5359.