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Traffic Investigation Unit / Major Crash Team

Major Crash Team van and police motorcycle.
The function of the Traffic Investigation Unit (TIU) includes complete investigation of prosecutable fatal accidents, follow-up investigations of Hit and Runs with suspect information, and assisting Homicide detectives with laser transit diagramming of crime scenes.

Traffic crashes have a tremendous economic and personal effect on our community. Traffic crash investigation is a vital community service, and is essential to protect the rights of individuals involved in crashes, enforce traffic laws, and collect statistical data. This data assists the Department of Motor Vehicles, Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Oregon Department of Transportation in safety programming and identifying traffic engineering problems.

The Traffic Investigation Unit (TIU) consists of Crash Reconstruction Officers trained in the reconstruction and investigation of complex vehicle crashes. The Major Crash Team (MCT) assists the TIU officers on scene and they all work together to complete a thorough investigation of fatal crashes, follow-up investigations of hit and run cases with suspect information, and assist the homicide detectives with laser transit diagramming of crime scenes. Between 2012 and 2022 alone, the Traffic Investigation Unit and Major Crash Team officers have responded to more than 587 crashes that resulted in 447 fatalities.

The TIU officers also work with crash victims and the families of victims when investigating these serious incidents. If you have suffered a loss of someone from a fatal car crash, here are some valuable resources for you to use. These crashes are one of the main reasons the City of Portland developed the Vision Zero program to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the number of these crashes and serious injuries making the streets of Portland safer for all.

The officers assigned to the TIU also participate in some fun and exciting traffic events with the community such as parades, motorcades, races and federal/state funded programs.