Traffic Unit

Traffic Unit

Traffic Feedback Form
Do you have a traffic problem in your area that needs special attention?

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.

Breath Alcohol Program

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.

Drug 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.

SMART Trailer

The Traffic 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.

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