The Leavenworth Police Department once again has a traffic unit.

The Leavenworth Police Department once again has a traffic unit.

For now, the unit only has one staff member, Sgt. Ralph Sorrell. But the unit will include additional positions.

“As staffing allows, we'll fill them,” Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said.

Kitchens said the traffic unit was launched last week.

Sorrell previously served as a traffic sergeant. But he had to take on other duties when a former traffic unit was dissolved because of budget constraints.

Kitchens said the Police Department went without a traffic unit for several years.

The traffic unit is being restored as part of a reorganization of Police Department personnel that has included the establishment of two detective positions that will focus on drug crimes.

Kitchens said safe travel on roadways is a key component of public safety.

In recent years, Sorrell has had to wear three or four hats, which did not leave him a lot of time to focus on traffic enforcement, Kitchens said.

But now that Sorrell is a traffic supervisor again, he will be able to do things such as targeted traffic enforcement in areas where speeding may be a chronic problem.

Kitchens said Sorrell also will have the ability to be proactive with the use of a speed trailer and special signs that inform motorists of their speed.

Equipment also will allow the sergeant to collect data regarding traffic. Kitchens said equipment recently was used to gather information about the speed of vehicles in the area of Henry Leavenworth Elementary School. He said this project is ongoing.

Kitchens said there also will be an educational component of the traffic unit's work.

Kitchens said he is indifferent when it comes to the amount of revenue that may be generated by tickets issued through the traffic unit. The police chief said the aim is for people to drive safely.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR