BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office says it will discontinue use of the controversial "speed van".
The sheriff's department says it decided to end its contract with Redflex, the company that owns the van, after the driver of the speed van parked it on private property without getting written permission from the owner.
HERE IS THE FULL NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIVINGSTON PARISH SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT:
Due to a recent series of events regarding Redflex and it's representatives, the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office is discontinuing it's participation in the parish's photo enforcement program commonly referred to as "the speeder van." This decision was made in response to an incident that occurred Tuesday June 30, 2009 in which the driver of the speeder van parked it on private property without obtaining written permission from the property owner. This action was in direct violation of Redflex's company policy concerning the deployment of the van. The improper parking of the van resulted in it being towed at the request of a representative of the property owner. Furthermore, it was brought to the attention of Sheriff's Officials that improper comments were made to the towing company employees by the Redflex representative regarding the towing of the vehicle.
This program came into being as a result of a parish ordinance authorizing such a program as well as a contract entered into by parish government and Redflex. Although the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office has no contractual obligation with this program, it agreed to assist in its implementation. Sheriff's officials believed then and believe now that photo enforcement can be a useful tool in addressing the growing demands placed on this office in regards to traffic safety. However, officials have concluded that any benefit derived from this program has been overshadowed by public concerns that have arisen in response to this and other recent actions of Redlfex.
On July 1, 2009, Sheriff's officials met with Parish President Mike Grimmer and informed him of the aforementioned concerns as well as the decision to no longer participate in the photo enforcement program. Parish President Grimmer expressed similar concerns and will address them with Redflex.
Therefore, effectively immediately, the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office is discontinuing it's participation in the Livingston Parish Photo Enforcement Program.