Police radar in the hands of concerned citizens - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Police radar in the hands of concerned citizens

April 30, 2003

Albany - If you're speeding through Albany neighborhoods, you might be caught by citizens armed with police radar guns. Next month, The Albany Police Department and Albany Safe Communities will begin training citizens to use radar guns in an effort to stop dangerous drivers.

Cars race down Hilltop Drive, making a trip to the mailbox scary for Kathy Baker and her children. "If we check the mail, I'm always holding my daughter's hand," said Baker. "And, we never play near the street."

The problem with speeders in Baker's neighborhood was so bad that Baker and her neighbors urged the city to put up a stop sign, but it hasn't really helped. "They slow down at the sign, but then they speed back up in front of my house."

To slow speeders, the APD and Albany Safe Communities are starting a two pronged program. First, residents must pledge to become pacecars. "Pacecar drivers promise to go the speed limit and therefore those following them must go the speed limit to," said Michelle Demott with Albany Safe Communities.

The next step is to arm citizens with radar guns. Citizens will learn how to work the radar guns in classes taught by police officers. "Citizens can deter speeders when police officer can't be around," said Sgt. Leonard bell, APD. "I think this program will be very effect."

If you're caught speeding, you'll receive a letter of reprimand asking you to slow down. You won't get a ticket or fine, but Baker hopes the letter will stop drivers from turning her street in a dragway. If you are interested in the Citizens Radar program, contact the Albany Police Department. Radar gun classes are expected to start by the end of May.

Posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com