Story by Sofia Alva
Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
The South Pasadena City Council approved the creation of a Traffic Enforcement Bureau in the Police Department during their meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 4. The South Pasadena Police Department (SPPD) Chief Joe Ortiz introduced the bureau to the council, which aims to tackle the traffic problem the city is facing.
SPPD proposed the creation of the Traffic Enforcement Bureau to combat and prevent a further rise in complaints. The goal of the bureau is to provide the city with a committed team and resources to address traffic enforcement. The bureau also hopes to continue traffic safety, education and collision investigation.
The city has seen a 10 percent increase in calls for service and traffic-related incidents since 2014. South Pas residents frequently issue complaints to the department regarding the traffic problem in the city, especially on weekday mornings and around schools in the area. Recently, the department found it difficult to address each complaint, with SPPD previously only having a single dedicated traffic officer.
“I think the creation of a new bureau will help the city a lot,” resident Todd Williams said. “Traffic here has gotten a lot worse recently and hopefully this will fix the issue.”
The bureau will not require new police officers to be hired but will instead reorganize the existing police department staff. The proposed staffing for the new addition to the department will consist of a corporal and two officers, quadrupling the resources currently directed towards traffic issues.
Current SPPD staff will begin recruitment and implementation of the traffic bureau with plans to be fully operational within two months.
The next city council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Mar. 18.