02/01/2006
High-tech radar added to LV police arsenal
By Jennifer Meyer , Times Staff Writer

Last week the La Vista Police Department hit another bull's eye in their target to create a designated traffic unit when they received a $1,200 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety to purchase two state-of-the-art mobile radar units.

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"The La Vista Police Department is receiving the funding assistance because they have identified a need and desire in reducing traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities at hazardous locations within the community," said Fred Zwonechek, administrator for the state's Office of Highway Safety.

According to La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten, the city's biggest concern in the next 10 years will be the increase of traffic spurred by the development of major retail businesses at Southport.

Towards that end, the department has focused efforts on researching effective ways to contain heavy traffic hazards and acquiring the needed vehicles and equipment.

The new radar units, constructed by MPH Industries, sport the latest technology and enable officers to more productively battle two patrol headaches - radar detection and directional restrictions when clocking vehicle traffic.

The units come with both POP and Automatic Same Direction technology, said Lt. D.J. Barcal, LVPD spokesman.

In simplified terms, according to the MPH Web site, POP technology measures vehicle speed and activates into standby in milliseconds, outpacing modern radar detectors. ASD technology, among other capabilities, makes measuring speeds of vehicles moving in the same direction as the patrol car more efficient and accurate.

The radar units will travel in two 2006 Dodge Charger black and white police cruisers arriving sometime this spring, a purchase recently approved by the La Vista City Council and recommended by Lausten to gradually replace the current fleet of white and blue cars.

Recent studies have shown that the black and white color scheme increases visibility of police presence and gives the impression that more law enforcement are present than they are in actuality.

The department is also awaiting their purchase of a 2006 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide police motorcycle to enhance traffic control efforts.

Eventually new officers will be hired and a team designated only for traffic control organized.

"Right now, we don't have the luxury of using officers just for traffic concerns," Barcal said.