Body double could slow speeders
BY TAYLOR LOYAL
— Taylor Loyal, (615) 459-3868
SMYRNA — Much like Clark Kent, Peter Parker and other super heroes before him, Sgt. Andy Miller found a way to convince people he's in two places at once.
The head of the Smyrna Police Department's traffic enforcement division stands near Front Street with a radar gun, slowing down speeders. At the same time, he could be writing a ticket across town.
Unlike in the comic books, he didn't receive his powers from the planet Krypton or the bite of a radioactive spider. Miller got his powers from a downtown sign shop.
It all started when Jim Gammon at Signs Now got frustrated with fast drivers who barreled through the 15 mph speed zone on Front Street. He came up with an idea — to make an officer out of corex, a sort of plastic cardboard, and place him in view of hasty motorists. A sign the size of Miller would normally cost about $150, but Gammon donated it to the department.
Police Chief Kevin Arnold said he laughed when he first heard the idea. But then, he knew Gammon was onto something.
"They requested permission to do it so I sent Andy over there," Arnold said.
But like all super heroes, he has a weakness. The super Sgt. Miller is barely strong enough to stand up on his own. He has to be tied to a pole so the wind won't knock him down.
Still, the plan is working well. Many drivers have slowed down. Some have even come to a complete stop.
"We're going to look at the possibility of going ahead and getting a few more made," Arnold said. "We've all got to live here together, so let's slow down."
And if you think the corex version of Miller will let you off the hook, Arnold says: Be forewarned. Sometimes the real Miller will be out on the side of the road.
"That way, people will never know if it's Andy or a cutout," Arnold said.