Linden Investigators Peter Hammer and Mieszko Niedziolka, and Officer Mikael Diaz of the Linden Police Department received the Traffic Safety Specialist – Level 1 Leadership designation, during the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association online event, held on Wednesday, October 7. Lt. Michael Babulski, who retired from the department in September after twenty-five years of service, also received the designation. The Traffic Safety Specialist (TSS) program was adopted in New Jersey from Maryland, in order to recognize police officers who have attained notable experience, education, training, and proficiency in Highway Safety Enforcement methods and procedures. Officers are approved based on documented training, employment records, service awards, and sponsorship of employers. Level 1 requirements include three years of independent patrol experience, speed detection device certification, standard field sobriety certification, and 30 points of earned electives. One elective point is awarded for each year of military service. Also, points are obtained for documented college experience. Since 2016, nearly 200 Traffic Officers have achieved this recognition. “These Officers have consistently performed at a high level, and we are very proud to see their expertise recognized on the state level,” Linden Police Chief David Hart said. After completing the Level 1 requirements, Traffic Officers are eligible to participate in TSS Level 2 that involves the development and implementation of a technical study to improve traffic safety conditions and reduce crashes in their sponsoring community. Level 2 requirements include six years of independent patrol experience, designated certifications and instructor training, as well as an additional 30 points of earned electives. One elective point is awarded for each year of military service and documented college experience. Since 2018, thirteen Traffic Officers have earned this statewide designation.