El Paso Police Headquarters
911 N. Raynor Street
El Paso, TX 79903
The Special Traffic Investigations Section (STI) is under the Special Services Division (SSD). The section is located at police headquarters at 911 N. Raynor, and is assigned 1 lieutenant and 1 sergeant with 10 uniformed officers/investigators and 1 secretary. The section’s primary responsibility and objective, is to investigate major motor vehicle crash scenes where persons have sustained serious life threatening injuries or have died. The section gives first and foremost priority to major crash scenes, but also investigates hit and run cases.
The Special Traffic Investigations Section regular hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, but its members respond to call-outs after hours for major crashes involving serious life threatening injuries or death.
As stated, STI is charged in the investigation of major crash scenes and gives time and resource priority to these types of cases. Depending on the circumstances and particulars of the crash events, criminal charges, if applicable, are filed through the District Attorneys or County Attorneys office against individuals involved in these major crashes. Investigations handled by the section are as follows, but not limited to:
STI also coordinates investigations with Crimes Against Persons when an intentional act has been alleged to have been committed, and a motor vehicle was used as the weapon in its causation to intentionally cause the death. STI will assist with a speed or crash analysis if applicable.
The intensity of these investigations begins from the onset, with the identification and collection of trace evidence and detailed witness accounts of the crash. Using sophisticated mapping-equipment, investigators measure the scene to compile a scale and detailed diagram. Using all of the information in the investigation, investigators complete a viable reconstruction, including speed or crash analysis for the events if the evidence and information support it.
STI investigators have training certification and experience in the field of Motor Vehicle Crash Reconstruction, to include Motorcycle Crash Reconstruction, Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Reconstruction and Event Data Recorder (EDR) retrieval certifications, among other investigative courses.
In 2006, STI was selected for a DWI study, as one of four national model programs by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study was conducted by researching data and statistics from law enforcement departments throughout the country, who have attained a high level of success in prosecuting intoxicated driving cases involving fatalities/serious crashes. Criteria used for the selection of the four model departments was, cooperation with other agencies (District Attorney, Medical Examiner, etc.), crash reconstruction/D.W.I. training and expertise of investigators, investigation procedures, technological assets, and success in the prosecution of cases.