Decoy Officer watching Albany's most dangerous intersection - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Decoy Officer watching Albany's most dangerous intersection

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November 28, 2007

Albany -- Talk about a cop with a stiff upper lip.  You gotta met the Albany Police Department's newest officer.

Police are trying something new to slow down speeders and stop crashes at Westover and Nottingham.  The officer at that intersection may be a dummy,  but so far she is doing a perfect job.

Lunchtime traffic at North Westover and Nottingham Way is very congested, but no crashes as drivers notice the Albany Police Patrol Car parked very visibly next to Albany's most dangerous intersection. Keeping an unblinking eye on traffic is A.P.D.'s newest officer. Lt. Joe Moored introduces "Officer Gwendolyn Mannequin."

A passing motorist said "it is a dummy, isn't it?'

 Yes, it's a dummy. Officer Mannequin is a traffic decoy that Albany Police put at this dangerous intersection for a week. Lt. Moored said "since she has been in place, there has not been an accident."

 Albany Police say decoy traffic cars have been very effective in trouble traffic areas, so they decided to try it.

The mannequin was donated. And even though she does not have any arms or legs, drivers are slowing down and cutting the number of crashes. A passing motorist said "I wasn't going to call that Policeman a dummy, just in case it was."

 In 2006 there were 85 crashes with 50 people hurt at this high traffic volume area, making it Albany's most dangerous for the sixth straight year. So Officer Mannequin sits in that patrol car today, but Albany Police say it could be another officer tomorrow.  Lt. Moored said "so when people do become accustomed to having the decoy there, it may be a real Police Officer."

A passing motorist said  "It looks like a dummy to me." What do you think about it? "I hope people slow down at the intersection."

Another motorist said  "maybe some of these people will stop speeding and running through these lights, because this is a dangerous intersection."

She may be a dummy, but so far her performance record is perfect. Albany Police say they'll move the decoy officer to other traffic trouble spots through the holiday period.

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