The Traffic Division is responsible for enforcing the traffic laws of the state and investigating vehicle crashes that occur within the city limits.
This unit is comprised of five highly trained officers who specialize in vehicle, boat and aircraft crash investigations. The officers of the Traffic Unit continually strive to make the roadways safer by conducting selective enforcement programs. A newly-formed unit is the D.U.I. Squad.
Traffic Division Units
Motor officers are re-certified annually after initially taking an 80-hour course. Many times are called on to testify as expert witnesses in the judicial system. Additionally, they are required to operate specialized equipment such as the intoxilyzer and traffic radar monitoring equipment. Public relations and appearances are commonplace with the Traffic Division, as they make appearances at schools and other functions throughout the year. The Traffic Division members can routinely be seen directing traffic at major league spring training ball games, escorting marathons and walkathons throughout the city during the year or assisting with funeral escorts.
The Marine Unit is a proactive water patrol team that focuses on boater education as well as boating enforcement. The Winter Haven Police Department utilizes a Carolina Skiff 198 DLV with a four-stroke 90-horsepower engine to patrol the lakes within the city. The Marine Unit also utilizes two Kawasaki STX-15F personal watercraft. The officers assigned to the unit patrol the waters on a part-time basis, usually weekends and holidays. These officers also monitor vessel traffic for safety violations, render aid to stranded boaters, issue citations for violations and work surveillance during the hours of darkness to prevent thefts on the lakes.
Community Service Officers
The Community Service Officer program is designed to utilize specially trained civilian personnel to perform a variety of functions and services to the community. They handle routine non-emergency calls that do not require the presence of a sworn officer. They handle many traffic crashes that do not involve serious injury or a criminal traffic violation, enforce parking regulations downtown and perform equipment checks and V.I.N. verifications. Community Service Officers permit sworn officers to concentrate on crime reduction, traffic enforcement and more serious matters.