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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    On your six, get outta my way!

    Default MD - Police officers ignore speed cameras

    Md. police officers ignore speed cameras

    Sat Mar 8, 4:32 PM ET

    No matter what the cameras say, some drivers are refusing to pay dozens of $40 speeding fines. Who? Police officers.

    In the last eight months of 2007, Montgomery County's new speed cameras recorded 224 cases in which police vehicles were recorded traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit, according to department records.

    Supervisors dismissed 76 of those citations after determining the officers were responding to calls or had valid reasons to break the speed limit.

    But that left 148 who didn't have that excuse, and about two-thirds of those citations haven't been paid, said police Lt. Paul Starks.

    The police union says officers shouldn't pay because the citations are issued to the owner of a vehicle, in this case the county, and not to the driver.

    Police Chief Thomas Manger doesn't buy that argument.

    "We are not above the law," Manger said. "It is imperative that the police department hold itself to the same standards that we're holding the public to."

    Manger said officers who continue to ignore citations might be disciplined.

  2. #2
    Power User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Florida



  3. #3
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by amoney

    The officers don't even deny it... they just say they shouldn't have to pay.

    In the end... they probably wont.

  4. #4
    Radar Fanatic
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    North Bay, CA


    nothing new here...

  5. #5
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    FOP: Officers shouldn’t pay camera fines

    The union representing Montgomery County police officers is telling its members to not pay fines when they are caught speeding by the county’s new speed cameras.
    ‘‘It’s totally unacceptable the Fraternal Order of Police are advising members to not pay tickets and sticking the public with the bill,” said Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg, chairman of the Public Safety Committee. ‘‘Other agencies have not done that. The actions of the FOP are an embarrassment to the department and the county.”

    The speed cameras recorded county police officers speeding 224 times in the last eight months of 2007, police spokesman Lt. Paul Starks said. The police dismissed 76 citations because officers were responding to calls or had other valid reasons for speeding, such as catching up to other vehicles. Their stories were confirmed by examinations of dispatch records and traffic citation books.

    However, in the 148 other cases, many officers have not paid the fines while some cases remain under investigation, Starks said. Some officers have paid their speeding tickets, he said.

    In some cases, police officers have made rude gestures as the cameras recorded them speeding past.

    ‘‘This fight isn’t over yet,” Starks said. ‘‘Chief [J. Thomas] Manger is working on efforts to hold people accountable for their actions.”

    Some internal affairs investigations have begun because of the speeding, Starks said.

    The union representing the police officers, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, has advised officers to not pay the $40 speeding tickets. Montgomery County put up the speed cameras in 2007 as part of a state pilot program. Motorists caught traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit trigger a camera that photographs the vehicle, and citations are automatically sent to the vehicle’s owner.

    ‘‘Unit members should not pay or set court dates for speed camera citations issued to the employer,” a statement on the union’s Web site says. ‘‘This applies to tickets received while driving a county owned vehicle.”

    Officer Mark Zifcak, the union president, did not return calls for comment.

    The union claims that paying of fines should be negotiated under the contract.

    Andrews disagreed.

    ‘‘Being held accountable for inappropriate behavior is not a working condition that needs to be bargained,” he said.

    Manger wants to hold the officers accountable but is being blocked by the union, Andrews said.

    Manger was in meetings and unavailable for comment.

    ‘‘I was appalled,” said Assistant Chief Betsy L. Davis of the speeding officers.

    When the red light cameras were installed, a few officers received citations, but they paid the tickets and the union did not fight it, she said.

    Andrews said the scofflaw officers represent a minority.

    ‘‘MCPD is a fine department with many fine officers and led by an excellent chief, but the actions of a few can tarnish the whole department. [Manger] is facing a lot of unreasonable objections to improve accountability of the department,” he said.

    Andrews said the speed camera citations are part of a pattern shown by the FOP to block accountability. The FOP blocked installing cameras inside cruisers, saying that had to be negotiated, Andrews said.

    ‘‘I’m very pro-labor, but they should pay the fines,” said Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At large) of North Bethesda.

    The speed cameras were put in to make the streets safer for motorists, and officers unnecessarily speeding undermines that effort, said Council President Michael J. Knapp (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown said.

    ‘‘There’s no part of government above the law,” Knapp said.
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  6. #6
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Jersey


    thats bs



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