APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – A new unit is coming to Appleton’s Police Department. Announced on Wednesday, city officials are adding a traffic safety police unit.

City officials say the idea of this new traffic safety police unit is to address reckless, inattentive driving and vehicle noise concerns. The city has seen an uptick in complaints for those issues recently.

“We are taking on the issues of pedestrian and traffic safety and excessive vehicle noise in our city with a holistic approach. This means employing the ‘Three Es’ of education, enforcement, and engineering to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford.

The position is expected to directly address safety and nuisance concerns such as speeding, reckless driving, inattentive or distracted driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and aggressive cruising involving the use of disruptive vehicle equipment. The disruptive vehicle equipment could be anything that pollutes natural air or sound environment like loud exhausts.

“Cruising and moving car shows have become almost weekly events in the summer, which drains our resources as they typically occur during our busy weekend nights. When our officers are busy dealing with traffic problems or cruising events, they are pulled out of their districts and normal calls for service are not responded to as quickly,” said Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas.

Appleton Police Department has deployed patrols for such matters in the past. On a Saturday night in November 2021, officers assigned to traffic safety initiatives conducted 26 traffic stops and enforced 16 loud or illegal exhaust violations within just four hours.

The full-time Traffic Safety Officer is scheduled to debut on June 1. For more information about the position, click here.