GSP Finds No Improper Radar Use by Arcade Police

January 23, 2004

Gordy Wright, PIO
(404) 624-7597

(ATLANTA) – The Arcade Police Department has been cleared of any improper use of their speed timing devices following an investigation by the Georgia State Patrol.  Colonel George Ellis announced Friday that allegations of the police department misusing speed timing devices to generate revenue are unfounded and the case has been closed.

Under Georgia law there is a presumption the law enforcement agency is employing speed detection devices for other than public safety if the fines levied based on the use of speed detection devices for speeding offenses are equal to or greater than 40 percent of the agency’s budget.  Speeding violations exceeding 17 miles per hour over the established speed limit are not considered when calculating total speeding fine revenue for the agency.

Total revenue from speeding citations 17 mph or less in Arcade totaled $31,050, or 5.8 percent of the department’s budget for 2002.  Investigators also noted that there were 2,301 speeding citations written by Arcade Police in 2002 where the charged speed was 18 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit compared with 207 speeding citations written for 17 miles per hour or less.

In addition to the amount of fines levied in the city, investigators also examined the radar permit, radio station license, the Department of Transportation approval letter, the speed zone ordinance for Arcade, the resolution authorizing the use of speed detection devices, and a D.O.T. list of roads approved for radar use from DPS files for review.  No discrepancies were noted in the investigation.

Colonel Ellis has notified Arcade Police Chief Dennis Bell that the Georgia State Patrol investigation is complete and no further action will be taken in the matter.