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Community News

Posted on: September 1, 2022

El Dorado Police Department creates new Traffic Division and Community Policing Officer position

Sgt. John Thompson

Sergeant John Thompson is now focusing on traffic and community policing in his new role with the El Dorado Police Department as the Traffic Division and Community Policing Officer.

On July 4 Sgt. Thompson moved to this new position. Previously, he would take other calls that came in while he was on patrol, limiting his time for traffic and community.

“Now I can concentrate on traffic and working with the community,” he said, explaining he will still help with other calls if needed.

“I’ve always enjoyed working traffic,” he said. While ticket writing isn’t a good part of it, he does enjoy the education he gets to do with people. “I make a lot of stops, which are educational.”

That could include such things as educating drivers that if they are making a turn, they have to stay in the closest driving lane. For example, they can’t turn right into the left-hand lane. Also, the center, turning lane, such as on Central, is not to be used as a merge lane when turning out onto the street. 

Sgt. Thompson will also be the officer who primarily works any traffic accidents that occur, as long as he is available. 

In addition, he will continue doing child passenger seat education on how to install the seats upon request and commercial vehicle inspections for safety. He will also continue doing railroad safety presentations through Operation Life Saver with BNSF. These can be given to schools or other groups who call and request a presentation. He said if there is an event where someone would like to have an officer attending that too will be part of what he does.

As part of this position, a new email has been set up for citizens to send in any recurring traffic concerns or neighborhood issues with traffic. This is for issues that do not need to be addressed right away. Sgt. Thompson likes having the email because people will be able to put their concerns in writing and there  will be a record of what is sent in. 

“I hope to alleviate some of the call volume for patrol with me doing traffic and community policing,” he said.

“We want to utilize all of our officers in the most efficient way possible while they are on duty,” said Police Chief Mike Holton. “The creation of this new position allows Sgt. Thompson to focus his time on traffic issues and community policing, while allowing our other officers to focus on the remaining calls that come in. The addition of the new email for communication should help streamline the process and make it easier for citizens to let us know of traffic concerns they may have within the community. We think this will be a great benefit to not only the community, but also our officers and we look forward to having Sgt. Thompson in this role.”

Anyone who has any questions for Sgt. Thompson can call him at 321-9120 ext. 328 or email him at jthompson@eldoks.com.  Those who would like to report a traffic complaint can email trafficcomplaints@eldoks.com. Because Sgt. Thompson still works 12-hour shifts on rotation, it may take a few days for him to get back with people who email him. If anyone has an emergency to report, always call 911.

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