Citizens on patrol - with radar guns
Lebanon Police latest to offer devices to residents to help slow down speeders
BY JANICE MORSE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LEBANON - Residents tired of cars whizzing past their homes can now take aim at the problem, courtesy of a radar gun loaned to them by city police.
The city is offering "Neighborhood Speedwatch," a new program designed to enlist residents' help to discourage speeding.
The program, similar to ones in Mason and several Hamilton County communities, involves a police officer training residents to use a radar gun "just like the ones our officers use," said Lebanon police Sgt. Rick Bens.
Then, trained citizens will monitor traffic using the gun, and record alleged speeders' vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers for three days.
The police department will use that information to mail notices to alleged violators and "request cooperation in the future in creating a safe environment in our community," a brochure says.
The Lebanon department is just now getting out the word about the program; no one has signed up so far, Bens said Wednesday.
Police hope Speedwatch will help address residents' speeding concerns, Bens said.
The department lacks resources to meet all requests for police officers to patrol for speeders or to place "speed trailers" - portable monitoring devices that display passing motorists' speeds, reminding them to slow down - Bens said.
"We are short-staffed around here, and it will take some of the load off of us, trying to get officers in the neighborhoods," he said. "It also will get citizens involved in persuading people to change their driving habits."