The mission of the Tacoma Police Department’s Traffic Unit is to maintain a safe and normal flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic throughout the City of Tacoma. A key component of this mission is to reduce injuries and deaths which occur as a result of traffic collisions. We are committed to accomplishing this by providing positive and proactive education in the field of traffic-related issues and by enforcing the traffic laws of the State of Washington.
The Traffic Unit uses several means to conduct their mission including the use of radar and LIDAR speed detection devices, concentrated high visibility emphasis missions to address identified areas of concern, and through multi-agency partnerships such as
Target Zero Teams (TZT) whose ultimate goal is reducing the number of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) related traffic deaths in Tacoma and Pierce County to zero. The TZT model of deploying in areas based on collision data analysis has proven effective in reducing the number of DUI-related fatality and serious injury collisions.
Collision investigation is another a primary function of the Traffic Unit. Officers respond as needed to reported collisions in the City of Tacoma. Traffic Officers are required to successfully complete advanced traffic collision investigation training courses and are responsible for investigating and reconstructing fatality and serious injury collisions. A team of three traffic investigators and one Sergeant are on call 24-hours a day to respond to a fatality or serious injury collision. This team follows up the investigation with an appropriate reconstruction and works with the prosecutor’s office to file charges as necessary.
In addition to enforcing traffic laws, Traffic Officers may also be utilized for other special situations which require traffic control to include structure fires, crowd control, community events, dignitary escorts, and assisting investigative units with advanced diagramming techniques.
Traffic Officers are frequently assigned to monitor roads and neighborhoods within our four police sectors where there is a heightened incidence of reported speeding or other traffic infractions, as well as locations that have consistently high collision rates based on collision data analysis.
Individuals can complete their own collision report if an Officer does not investigate the collision at the scene. Please see our resources page to download a Vehicle Collision Report.
Understanding The Police Traffic Stop
Traffic stops can be a stressful event. There are several reasons why you might be stopped by the police. In this brochure, we offer some general tips and advice for the motorist that can help make a traffic stop safer and less stressful for you and the police officer. Click on a language to view the brochure: