KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More Kansas City, Missouri Police traffic officers are on Kansas City streets for the first time in four years. Their primary job is to write tickets, but they'll also be moved wherever necessary.
“I think one of the absolute responsibilities we have to the public is to be hyper vigilant with regard to how we use our resources,” said Deputy Chief Bob Kuehl.
Deputy Chief Kuehl is passionate about protecting Kansas Citians, and using department resources is the best way to do so. He says the newest way is putting a traffic squad back on the streets.
“By putting this traffic squad unit back in place for all the functions that they do and are responsible for, this frees up district officers to be more readily available in their respective responsibilities,” he said.
Traffic officers are revenue producers, their primary job is to write tickets, but Deputy Chief Kuehl says they do much more.
“They're also responsible for a number of different types of escorts, they handle traffic at crime scenes, they handle accidents on the highways, they handle broken down vehicles on the highway,” Deputy Chief Kuehl explained. “They are a resource for us on the weekends when it comes to additional needs in the entertainment districts and myriad of other traffic functions that change almost on an hourly basis.”
No new officers are being added to the department; instead, the manpower is coming from the security detail at Kansas City Municipal Court. A traffic squad was disbanded a few years ago to accommodate the staffing, but now commanders say those officers are best served being on the streets.
“With tough budgets that we are all facing, we have to run as lean as we can at all times, so watching the resources and the priorities we allocate those too is a critical responsibility for us. So this gives me this extra squad back to free officers up to fill in that gap to do their job,” Deputy Chief Kuehl said.
Traffic officers are far from high-profile in the department, but Deputy Chief Kuehl says the department couldn't run without them.