Trained crash investigators provide the expertise to investigate and determine the cause of major traffic crashes in Caddo Parish.
The unit was formed in 2003, a year that saw 20 people lose their lives in traffic crashes on Caddo Parish roadways. Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator tapped five deputies to receive accident investigation training above what is offered in the basic law enforcement academy.
Deputies attended the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety and were taught skills to recognize critical evidence at crash scenes; preserve and record evidence using measurements, sketches, diagrams and photographs; analyze data; reconstruct an accident; and plan accident prevention.
“As a rule, police officers just report crashes,” the sheriff said. “They receive only a few hours training on accident reports while in the academy. But these deputies receive 320 hours of training on accident investigations and reconstruction. That’s longer than the entire basic police academy.”