Tools

JPD Radar Patrols Cause Controversy

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- Jackson police are taking aim at speeding and said they are willing to be sneaky to save lives.

New radar guns now used by Jackson Police allow an officer to issue a ticket from 1,000 feet away. Department leaders said it has also encouraged officers who are running radar to work in disguise.

"They're talking about having officers blend in, put on a construction hats and blend in with a construction zone," said Deputy Chief Barry Michael, Jackson Police Dept. "They'd be running radar but look like one of the regular construction workers...getting a citation maybe in the mail and maybe getting multiple citations will hopefully get people's attention to slow down."

Many drivers are upset with a picture snapped by a driver on Carriage House Drive, Monday. The picture shows a Jackson police officer sitting in his lawn chair with the radar technology called Velocity Snap.

"it just looks like he is kind of lazy doing his job," said driver Linda Wilson. "I mean if he was standing up with the radar gun that might look a little better but it just looks like he's relaxing on the job."

"I think it's very sneaky for the City of Jackson to do something like that," said driver Christina Blakeney.

Police said with the click of a button, the new Velocity Snap radar gun captures your speed and tag number. if you are going too fast, a ticket arrives in the mail. Deputy Chief Barry Michael told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News the technology will save lives. He admits the lawn chair was not the best idea.

"The lawn chair is probably not something we will use again because it did give off the wrong perception that he is just out there doing nothing but as it turned out he issued 100 citations in the two hours he was out there," said Deputy Chief Michael.

Some residents said they believe the new radar technology is a good tool for the city to use in high traffic problem areas.

"If he can sit there and get 100 people that's a serious problem to me...that area has a problem, i hope this helps to slow people down."

JPD officials said the new technology is being used in high-complaint problem areas where fatality crashes are likely.

"It makes me want to slow down anywhere... you never know where they at so you have to slow down," said driver Renee Lumpkin.

According to Jackson Police, each of the tickets issued by the new radar gun are $50. They do not affect your insurance or driving record.