Memphis (TN) Police Department
Award Year: 2020
Safety Category: Traffic Safety
In response to a high level of dangerous driving by both police officers and the public, Memphis PD employs a multi-facet approach to support traffic safety to both its officers and the community. Though a good portion of this submission relates to public driving, this summary will only address programs and policies that directly apply to officer traffic safety.
The Memphis Police Department (MPD) implemented officer crash reduction training to all of their officers. They have also implemented a Crash Review Board to review all officer crashes and make recommendations as to whether the crash was the officer’s was at fault and if so, what discipline should be imposed. The board is comprised of two MPD patrol officers, two community members, one local station commander and one officer legal representative from the station where the current board station commander is assigned.
Station officers have received train the trainer level instruction on distracted driving and are responsible for training all officers assigned to their station in the areas of distracted driving as well as crash cause and prevention techniques training to decrease and prevent officer involved crashes.
All MPD patrol units are equipped with in car video systems that activate the camera when the officer attains or exceeds a speed of 80 mph. Supervisors are notified of the activation and determine if it was justified. For unwarranted speeding, officers receive discipline ranging from counseling to termination.
Patrol car radios are also equipped with GPS. Patrol car locations are monitored by police communications so when a dispatcher receives a call for service, they can see the location of the unit nearest the call and dispatch units more efficiently. In the event of an officer being ambushed, the officer can push a button on the radio that sends a distress signal and location of the officer so assistance can respond immediately. It also provides officers responding to calls with turn by turn directions and a call history of the address.
MPD officers are also required to wear high visibility traffic safety vests when outside of the patrol car on extended details.
As a result of implementing their officer traffic safety programs in 2018 MPD has since reduced their officer at- fault crashes by 20%.