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Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Traffic Institute



  • Existence: 1936 - 2000


In 1933 Northwestern University, in conjunction with the City of Evanston Police Department, began offering a two-week Traffic Officers' Training Course, later the Traffic Officers' Training School, to parties interested in the fields of traffic supervision and traffic accident prevention.

This program, along with the Evanston Police Department's traffic accident prevention program, soon attracted the attention and support of law enforcement agencies, the automotive industry, and insurance corporations. In 1936 the Traffic Officers' Training School joined with the Traffic Safety Division of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the new organization was renamed the Traffic Safety Institute and, finally, the Traffic Institute. Initial funding came from the Automotive Safety Foundation and the University and later from the Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company and the Kemper Foundation for Traffic Safety. In addition to offering training courses, the Traffic Institute quickly developed research programs in traffic and safety, traffic law, motor vehicle administration, and traffic engineering. The Institute also established a program of field service and training and has published a series of textbooks, manuals, pamphlets, and periodicals. In more recent years, the Institute's curriculum has grown to include police management, transportation planning, law and court administration, fleet safety, and related specialized programs.

The Traffic Police Training Program traditionally has been the most extensive, in terms of curriculum and length of study, of the courses offered by the Northwestern University Traffic Institute. The Program has and continues to provide supervisory, management, and specialized training to in-service law enforcement officers. Additionally, annual retraining conferences for Program graduates offer instruction on developments and issues in fields relating to police administration and traffic safety.

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Franklin M. Kreml (1907-1998) Papers

Identifier: 6/4/4

Franklin Martin Kreml, national expert on traffic safety, accident prevention and law enforcement, was the founding Director of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute and a University administrator for over 35 years. The Franklin M. Kreml papers consist of 13 boxes spanning the years 1906-1998. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence and records from Kreml's tenure as Northwestern University Vice President of Planning and Development.

Dates: 1928-1998

Northwestern University Traffic Institute Annual Course and Curriculum Records

Identifier: 23/1
Abstract This series fills nineteen boxes and is comprised of course outlines, class schedules, brochures, syllabi, registration forms, rosters of students, and group photographs documenting the courses and curriculum offered by the Northwestern University Traffic Institute for the period 1939-1981, with an addition covering the years 1982-1986. The records are useful as guides to Institute training programs, to trace the development of the Institute's curriculum, and to verify attendance of program...
Dates: 1939-1981

Traffic Institute Accident Investigation Course Records

Identifier: 23/3
Abstract The Traffic Institute was founded in 1936 by Evanston Police Commander Franklin M. Kreml. At that time, the number of motor vehicle deaths and injuries was skyrocketing. Despite the fact that there was no professional training in crash investigation for police officials, Commander Kreml found a way to reduce the number of accidents in Evanston drastically. Recognizing the need for high-quality training for traffic professionals across the nation, Mr. Kreml then established the Traffic...
Dates: 1959 - 1981; Other: Majority of material found within 1966 - 1972

Traffic Institute City, County, and State Consulting Reports

Identifier: 23/4
Abstract This series fills eight boxes and is comprised of reports pertaining to a variety of topics in police and traffic administration authored by representatives of the Traffic Institute usually on behalf of city, county, or state governmental agencies or police departments. The reports date between 1951 and 1980 but bulk during the period 1954–1958. Many reports are undated. The majority of the reports examine police traffic supervision in various cities and states as well as procedures used in...
Dates: 1951 - 1980; Other: Majority of material found within 1954 - 1958

Traffic Institute curricular and administrative records

Identifier: 23/10
Scope and Contents

This document group consists primarily of materials used in police training courses offered by the Traffic Institute. These include both materials provided to students, and (in some cases) materials used by instructors. This group also includes reports and other materials prepared by the Traffic Institute, and an extensive series of minutes of the meetings of the Highway Safety Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Dates: 1945 - 1987

Traffic Institute Instructional Guides and Training Publications

Identifier: 23/5
Abstract The guides and publications fill eleven boxes and date between 1947 and 1959. The bulk of the materials date from the period 1953-1959. The guides and publications, developed and used for Traffic Institute instruction and training courses and, in some cases, for distribution to police administrators and traffic engineers, pertain to a variety of issues in traffic and police administration, traffic patrol and investigation, and law enforcement. Included are Traffic Institute reports,...
Dates: 1947-1959

Traffic Institute Traffic Law and Administration Publications

Identifier: 23/6
Abstract These publications fill two boxes and date between 1958 and 1983. Ten separately titled series of publications are represented: Advanced Accident Investigation, Know the Law, Management, Supervision, Traffic Direction, Traffic Law Enforcement, Traffic Law Offenses, Traffic Patrol, Traffic Patrol and Direction, and Traffic Records. Individual publications issued under these series' titles generally are brief manuals pertaining to specific issues in traffic administration, investigation, and...
Dates: 1958-1983

Traffic Police Administration Training Program Records

Identifier: 23/2
Abstract These records fill thirty-one boxes and although they date from the period 1944–1981, the records dated prior to 1956 are scattered. The records document mainly the curricular aspects of the Program. Undated materials are foldered at the end of the series. For each year's course offerings the records typically include: a course schedule, course outlines, and assignments. Student reference manuals and grades are frequently found in the records. Less often included are lists of program...
Dates: 1944 - 1981; Other: Majority of material found within 1956 - 1981

Traffic Safety Institute Course Announcements and Related Materials

Identifier: 23/7

The earliest curricular offerings of Northwestern University's Traffic Safety Institute, later the Traffic Institute, are documented by this collection of course announcements, syllabi, and rosters of faculty and students.

Dates: 1932-1948