South Gate : New Police Unit to Check and Cite Overloaded Trucks

The South Gate City Council has approved the hiring of two additional officers for its 89-officer Police Department to help control traffic problems created by large trucks on city streets.

The officers will write citations for overweighted trucks and other violations, including faulty equipment. The officers will carry portable testing equipment to check truck weight.

The two officers and equipment, including a pickup truck, will cost the city an estimated $126,500 for 1989-90. Police Chief Ronald George said the officers will be hired from students undergoing training at the Rio Hondo College Police Academy near Whittier.

The officers, to be called the Commercial Enforcement Unit, will receive specialized training from the California Highway Patrol in traffic enforcement involving large commercial trucks.

The enforcement unit is seriously needed, George said. "Overloaded trucks are coming through our city and tearing the streets apart." He said officials believe that truckers avoid cities with commercial traffic enforcement officers and drive through South Gate instead.

It is estimated the city could collect nearly $500,000 in revenue a year from fines. The officers are expected to be hired by July 1.

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