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Bluffton Police Hope To Add More Officers and Install Traffic Unit

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A growing Bluffton population has police calling for a traffic unit of their own, and an additional five officers for their department.

"I know our calls have picked up over the past year," says Officer Michael Creason.

News Three road along with Officer Creason as he responded to calls. He says those calls can span from something like a domestic dispute, to a car break-in.

However, the growing population of Bluffton residents, and the traffic traveling through their police jurisdiction could outgrow the police department.

"Sometimes the problems can grow faster than our department does," says Officer Henry Criss.

Add to that the busy roadways in places like Highway 278, and the traffic calls can stretch other patrols thin.

"It puts more of a strain on our resources here, our police resources here at the town," Officer Criss says.

Officer Creason estimated the ration of officer to citizens around one to 2,500. He says the tourists who pour into the area in the summer months significantly increase that number of citizens.

 "Everyone who travels to and from Hilton Head, travels right smack through the town of Bluffton," Officer Criss adds.

They believe a traffic unit which would focus solely on the roads in town, would allow other officers to get back to responding to other calls.

Cops would be assigned to monitor the roads they consider dangerous, and to ticket speeders in areas like the 45 mph Highway 278, which officers say gets overlooked.

"It's really more than just writing a ticket. It really serves to ensure the safety of the motoring public," Officer Criss says.

However, it could be August when they will know if they will receive a grant to fund the traffic unit. In the meantime, police say they plan to ask Bluffton Town Council for five new officers at the next council meeting.  

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