The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) recently awarded a team of investigators from the Bloomfield Township, Troy and Auburn Hills police departments with their annual award for excellence in traffic safety.
The Southeast Oakland County Crash Investigation Team (SOCCIT) jointly investigate serious-injury and fatal traffic crashes in all three communities, and have had an impact on both safety and budgets, officials said.
“With the loss of personnel for which the police departments of Troy, Bloomfield Township and Auburn Hills have experienced over the last few years, we have continued to provide quality service by still effectively, efficiently and professionally investigating serious and fatal accidents through this partnership," said Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer in a news release.
The departments formed the task force in 2010 in order to improve the response to fatal and serious-injury crashes. The group of well-trained crash investigators are tasked with managing the crash scenes, conducting thorough investigations, and limiting the length of closures and delays on the roads.
They also help consolidate costs for the different municipalities because the investigators are staggered across shifts by the departments, and training and equipment costs are shared.
The team is comprised of 19 officers with specialized training in crash investigations, including traffic crash reconstruction, said supervisor Sgt. Craig Shackleford of the Bloomfield Township Police Department. He said the award is an honor and recognizes the effectiveness of coordinated responses to serious situations.
Couple with the award is a $5,000 prize that Shackleford said will likely be used toward the purchase of equipment the departments can share. A device that reads an Event Data Recorder — instruments installed in many new vehicles that record information related to crashes — is a possibility.
"Any a common piece of equipment that we can share and have available to reach our goal of high-quality, comprehensive investigations and quickly resolving traffic closures and delays is a plus," he said.