If you join a police department of any
size, your department will have a
specialized traffic investigation unit
tasked with the responsibility to
investigate all fatal traffic accidents or
accidents where the seriousness of
injury(s) requires investigation by the
traffic specialists.

Just remember, you could be assigned to
investigate a serious traffic accident you
feel should be handled by the specialized
unit.  Just because you think the accident
should be investigated by the special unit
doesn't mean it will be.  That decision is
usually made by the traffic specialist
when he or she arrives on the scene.  
Normally, if the specialist says you have
the investigation, that's usually the end
of any debate on that subject.
Many police officers often get upset when
another police officer, who is the traffic
specialist, declines to investigate an
accident the original officer believes
should be investigated by the more
competent police officer by virtue of his
or her advanced training.  When you find
yourself in a similar situation, don't waste
your time complaining or experiencing
any frustration.  There's probably a
reason for declining the investigation
such as the accident simply does not
meet the seriousness criteria of the unit,
or the availability status of the specialized
unit could be diminished to an
unacceptable level at that particular time.

If you join a small police department, you
may have one police officer who has
received advanced training in accident
investigation.  Even if the officer is not on
duty when a serious accident occurs, he
or she may be on call for investigative
response to the accident.  In any case,
small police departments can always
request the response of their state police
or highway patrol whose officers are
more highly trained in traffic accident

Unless you've taken some prior interest
in traffic accident investigation, you have
no idea just how involved it can become.  
I've provided you with a number of links
to give you some idea of the unbelievable
number of things that can be considered,
calculated and quantified in traffic
accident investigations.  If you're good at
math, and you like the idea of one day
specializing in traffic accident
investigation, now's a good time to start

You'll find that some police officers do a
really lousy job when it comes to
investigating traffic accidents.  Then
again...those same officers usually do a
lousy investigation of anything.  You
don't have to be an expert to become a
competent traffic accident investigator.  
Your investigation may not include all the
analytical and mathematical conclusions
and calculations, but it can present a
clear and easily understandable sequence
of events.
Crash Data Services, LLC provides
quality traffic accident reconstruction
including crash data retrieval, at-scene
collision investigation and expert witness
services.  Our accident reconstructionists
proudly serve Illinois and the entire
Midwest.  We customize our services to
fit the needs of insurance providers, legal
professionals, municipalities and more.
Traffic Accident Reconstruction
Origin. TARO - TARO is like any
technical journal. It contains articles of a
technical nature that report on the
evolving state of traffic accident
reconstruction. TARO is a place to
publish articles about accepted traffic
accident reconstruction techniques. They
are placed here to serve as reference for
those that are just beginning and want
to learn, or those who have forgotten
and need reminding.
Northwestern University Center for
Public Safety - The concept of scientific
crash investigation has been a part of the
Northwestern University Center for Public
Safety since its inception in 1936. We
literally "wrote the book" on crash
investigation and reconstruction, and we
continue to be world leaders in providing
training in these areas. We offer the
most comprehensive program of its kind,
with courses beginning at basic crash
investigation and culminating in various
advanced crash reconstruction courses.
Dirigo Software  has been on the
leading edge of Accident Reconstruction
Software since 1993, during which time
we have been providing an entire suite of
programs for the professional
Reconstructionist.  Whether you buy the
individual programs, or bundle them in a
SuperSaver or SingleSaver suite, you will
not be disappointed in their ease of use,
how well and fast they run, and of
course, their affordability.
MapScenes - The MapScenes System is
designed to provide professional
investigators with the tools to capture
data quickly and precisely at a scene, and
then visually communicate the output of
their investigation in accurate and
compelling diagrams that will hold up
under the highest scrutiny.
"If you're good at math, and you like
the idea of one day specializing in
traffic accident investigation, now's a
good time to start reading."
~ Barry M. Baker
You'll get some basic instruction for
traffic accident investigation during your
academy training.  When you begin your
patrol activities, you'll find yourself
responding to traffic accidents on a
frequent basis.  When the rain starts,
you can almost be assured that you'll be
handling a traffic accident during your
shift.  Fortunately, most of the accidents
you investigate will be relatively minor
and relatively simple to investigate.  As
long as you throughly familiarize yourself
with your department's accident report,
and manuals or other investigative aids
provided, you shouldn't have a problem.  
It's also important to start reading your
state's traffic articles, and keep that book
with you for reference when determining
the proper traffic citation(s) to be issued
when appropriate.   

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Traffic Accident
Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
There are Five
Indispensable Truths
for a Successful Police
Today's police officers are
afforded the best ballistic
protection in history... and
it only gets better.
Recommended reading for
those of you thinking
about becoming a Police
Copyright © 2021  Barry M. Baker  
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