Ventura — With the number of car crashes in Ventura up by more than a third over the past three years, the City Council approved the hiring of three new traffic safety enforcement officers.
The money to pay their salaries will come from $229,000 in state money available through the Citizen's Option for Public Safety program.
The city had eight traffic officers until 1993, when budget cuts forced the patrol to be reduced to two members.
Immediately, the number of accidents skyrocketed, officals said.
"We knew it would cause accidents, and a slacking in traffic safety," Ventura Police Chief Richard Thomas told the council Monday night. "And the statistics have borne that out."
City leaders said they hope to eventually return the number of traffic officers to eight.