Traffic Safety Unit (Motorcycle)
The Fargo Police Department's Traffic Specialty Unit (TSU) utilizes three Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycles which are operated when the weather affords the officers the ability to safely ride. During inclement weather and winter months the TSU officers also have unmarked vehicles to aid in their enforcement efforts. Currently, the Traffic Specialty Unit has two unmarked Ford Explorers, an unmarked Dodge Charger, and an unmarked Dodge Intrepid.
Six patrol officers were initially selected for this specialty unit when it began. Now, the Fargo Police Department has nine officers motorcycle trained. Each have completed specialized motorcycle operator training provided by Harley-Davidson. Currently, three TSU officers are assigned to the day shift and three TSU officers are assigned to the evening shift. This unit has since evolved from doing just traffic enforcement. Three of the TSU officers, the TSU sergeant, and the TSU lieutenant have had traffic crash reconstruction training. The TSU officers focus on traffic violations, traffic analysis, crash reduction, public education, and public relations.
TSU officers are often assigned to areas where speeding is more prevalent and to intersections known to have a high number of traffic crashes or red-light violations. The TSU follow-up on citizen complaints and also investigate complaints of motorists violating School Bus Stop Arm laws. For speed enforcement, motorcycle officers use LIDAR, which is commonly referred to as laser radar.
The TSU officers wrote 4,246 citations in 2009, 4,546 citations in 2010 and as of May 2011 have written 2,442 citations in a wide variety of traffic violations. The most common violations are: speeding, red light, seatbelt/child restraint and stop sign.
These officers' public relations efforts include appearances at schools, in parades, and other special events in the city.
Please watch the Public Service Announcements created for the "Now, do you get it? Safe Driving Campaign in 2011.