BEND, OR -- Drivers may have noticed a lack of dedicated traffic patrols by Bend Police, in recent months. Chief Jim Porter says the Traffic Division disbanded in October, due to an ongoing shortage of qualified officers. "I literally had to take my six-person Traffic Unit, strip all those officers out of the Traffic Division so they can train new officers and they can respond to emergency calls. I’m slotted for six positions in Traffic and we would love to get back to there, as soon as we get enough officers to respond to emergency calls."
But, that doesn't mean nobody is writing tickets. "So every officer, when he’s going from point A to point B on calls, does do traffic enforcement," Chief Porter tells KBND News. "As a matter of fact, we’re preparing to purchase five new moving radars for our standard patrol officers, so they can do that traffic enforcement as they roll across the city, until we get our traffic team back up."
Porter has six officers currently in various stages of training, and another seven openings waiting to be filled. Click HERE
for our full conversation with Chief Jim Porter, or visit our Podcast page