FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad

Unit detectives look to put the handcuffs on scofflaw drivers after critical-injury crashes.

June 26, 2013  |  by

Photo courtesy of Ben Roffer/Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Ben Roffer/Flickr.
With the murder rate falling to a near-historic low in New York City, the NYPD has refocused its attention on a more pervasive life-taking hazard—vehicle crashes.

In March, the agency revamped its Highway Division Accident Investigation Squad, beefing up staffing, adding higher-tech tools, and broadening its mission to respond to serious, as well as fatal, crashes. The unit also got a new name: the Collision Investigation Squad.

The two dozen officers now assigned to unit investigate the dozens of accidents per day that could bring criminal charges. The unit has been profiled in several media outlets, including the New York Times, which broke the news of the revamp and published an in-depth look on Sunday. Read it here.

Officers in the unit, according to the Times article, "readily rattle off physics equations and discuss throw weights and friction coefficients like an odd hybrid of Sherlock Holmes and Bill Nye the Science Guy."

Additional resources have been added to the unit, including $400,000 in state money from DUI fines the help pay for additional investigations and new "3-D imaging centers" to help with accident reconstruction, reports the New York Post.

The trigger for a call-out by unit detectives comes whenever a paramedic lists a patient as critical. NYPD patrol officers will confer with medical personnel at the accident scene to determine whether to activate the unit, Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a March 4 letter to City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

In the letter, published by the Gothamist, Kelly said agency policies have been revamped "to provide our patrol personnel with additional guidance when making a determination as to whether the injuries that have been sustained in a vehicle collision warrant notification" of the unit.

Kelly also said unit detectives will receive specialized collision investigation training.

Editor's note: This special unit profile is the latest in a series of Web-exclusive career profiles on Read more profiles here.

Be the first to comment on this story

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

Vievu Body Cameras on Patrol with Major Agencies
Oakland PD was an early advocate of Vievu body camera technology and has been using the...
Testing Body Cameras for Image Fidelity
The traditional gelatin-silver image reproduction film process was a very stable imaging...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
Police Magazine