Cop Speaks Out Against Photo Radar


Lets see what the ATS and Redflex lackeys have to say about this one: postit

Officer Mike Wasilewski, one of Naperville’s finest, writing with wife Althea Olson in this month’s lawofficer.com, put it beautifully:

“The ever-expanding use of cameras as a principal means of locating and citing traffic violators is ultimately harmful to the profession of law enforcement, diminishes public trust in governmental bodies, and fails to recognize potential long-term consequences in favor of short-term gains.”

They continue: “As Americans, a healthy distrust of government is part of our national DNA … We instinctively dislike the idea of cameras following us, recording us, reporting our actions to the authorities for punishment.”

Officer Wasilewski is far from alone. Just in Arizona, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have been vocal critics of automated ticketing. Wasilewski’s comments are reminescent of Babeu’s comments just a few months back:

I am against it, not only because I’m a strict Constitutionalist, but I believe… it’s driven to create money for the government. It’s corrupting law enforcement for us to be partnered with a private entity that creates revenue—clearly that’s their interest… I’ve never… seen a photo radar camera arrest a drunk driver or arrest a person with a warrant, see if someone has insurance, or to just simply give directions to somebody…

45 Responses to Cop Speaks Out Against Photo Radar

  1. Mark S says:

    This office is right. This just adds to my distrust of government and law enforcement.

    In all, this also makes me less respectful of the law enforcement system.

    We are slowly drifting to a police state similar to what existed after Hitler became ruler of Germany.

  2. marbro says:

    Yup, that about sums up my perspective of where our Gov’t is heading. Scary as hell, I hope someday these people dont start garnishing peoples wages just to make a buck.

  3. Sanity Rules says:

    What Sheriff BoBo doesnt understand is ….the cameras were not erected to pull over a drunk driver, or to check for insurance. I certainly have never flagged an officer down to ask for directions. The cameras are an aid to LE !! Just as local police have \”citizen patrols\” that serve a specific function. Hell, even BoBo has his own volunteer posse that itself has limitations but does aid LE. But , gosh if BoBo acknowledged that, he couldnt make those cool little speeches about how he is a \”constitutionalist\”…. and a strict one at that… fact is, anyone living in this country just by that act alone makes us all consitutionalists!!

    They are an aid to LE folks… nothing more nothing less!!

    • RPr says:

      http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,27574,25555678-2761,00.html

      Officers will stop their vehicles with lights on at roadside camera spots to check on the welfare of the Multanova operators.

    • Joe says:

      Ask some officers who work patrol if they agree with you. They won’t, and here is why:

      Law Enforcement agencies don’t use anything to “assist” officers. They merely redeploy resources, or just reduce them. In the minds of those running the DPS, this just means they can balance their budget easier, as the issue of speeding (again, in their minds) is already dealt with in those areas with the speed cameras. This means they can cover as many bases with fewer officers.

      The DPS officers that we still have, are now concentrating on other “safety” (ha!) issues such as carpool lane violations. I don’t hear anything about speed enforcement initiatives anymore, as the DPS considers speeding to be a mostly “conquered” problem now.

      They don’t (and you don’t) get it. The idea is to have officers PATROL and make CONTACT with bad guys, and to get those bad guys to either stop doing their bad stuff, or to arrest them and remove them from the streets. Speed cameras reduce officer contact with violators and ultimately results in fewer arrests, which means fewer wanted criminals (of bigger crimes) are being caught as a consequence of their speeding tickets.

      But political higher-ups LOVE this, as it means two things: 1) They don’t have to secure as many jail resources for those that they catch, and 2) They have fewer arrests to deal with from the paperwork/processing point of view. No wonder Vanderpoole loves photoradar so much! It saves him a lot of work that he otherwise would have had to do.

      • BRENT says:

        Three “on-street” Phoenix PD’s told me they agree whole-heartedly with what we’re doing here. I imagine the only ones who disagree have friends who work for Redflex, etc..

        • Joe says:

          I don’t see how this makes their job ANY easier. If anything, it creates more crime because people with outstanding warrants will be left to keep doing bad stuff, and thus they will be responding to those calls even more often now.

  4. How are cameras an aid to law enforcement? Police officers still perform the same job they always have in the same way. The cameras do not stop any laws from being violated and they do not reprimand violators. All they do is mail a fine a limited class of people long after a “crime” has been photographed. I do not call this law enforcement.

    BTW, the volunteer posse has the ability to witness and testify, as well as to call police and report crimes, and they can even detain violators if they have to. This is far and away better than a camera… and the volunteers are free.

    • thegeez says:

      Ah Bubu! Pre corrupt first commander days! This guy gets even better every day! Hey, but it’s like Camera fraud! Charismatic corrupt criminals! No wonder ya’ll love him!

  5. Different View says:

    The only point I see as harmful to the law enforcement community is if the use of photo enforcement reduces law enforcement jobs. I am amazed that cops would not want assistance in doing their jobs and enforcing the same laws leaving street officers more time to focus on other more dangerous crimes. This all sounds to me like job protection is their biggest concern. If laws weren’t broken, there would be no need for cops or cameras.

    • You keep reporting the same fallacy that cameras “free up officers” to focus on other crimes. If what you say is true, it would NOT be a good thing. Cameras only take photographs. We still need officers on the road finding drunk drivers, unsafe vehicles, checking for insurance, warrants, drugs, and the whole myriad of other crimes often discovered during routine traffic (mostly speeding) stops. If they have removed officers from traffic duty because of the cameras, then we are in trouble. All police agencies that I’ve seen so far have insisted that they have not removed or reduced their traffic enforcement numbers because of the cameras.

    • RPr says:

      law enforcement personnel are down 25% where photo radar is used.

    • BJ says:

      “We’ll have cops doing other things and making law enforcement more efficient.”

      “We’ll have fewer cops because cameras are so efficient, and the cops are just protecting their.”

      You can’t have your cake and eat it too…

      “If laws weren’t broken, there would be no need for cops or cameras.”
      ***************
      I didn’t know that Barney Fife was a real person. Laws are broken all the time, and the world doesn’t fall apart because many of the laws out there are either archaic or politically motivated, neither of which helps make society better.

  6. BJ says:

    This is off-topic, but I have a dilemma. I have a cousin who just took a job – as a Redflex van driver. How would you approach them, if at all, to get a signature for the drive?🙂

    In these economic times, some people are taking whatever jobs they can, but taking THAT job.. You’d have to be pretty desperate…

    • BRENT says:

      You should tactfully speak to your cousin and bring to his attention that he has compromised his morals (and potentially reputation) to work for an illegit and fraudulent organization.

      Politely state you disagree and urge him to keep looking for a real job that is defrauding his fellow neighbors.

    • The Keeper of the Seven Keys says:

      Your cousin should be aware about that any trace of such a jobs is real “resume killer”, though…

    • BJ, make sure you let him know that his life is in danger as well, so he can decide if it’s worth it or not.

    • Ernest T. Bass says:

      On June 11th, written under the topic “Photo Radar Worker Arrested For Child Porn” a member named “Whatever” writes that he was laid off by Redflex along with lots of other workers. Now BJ’s cousin luckily lands himself a job for Redflex, as a “van driver” . I could be wrong, but after the shooting when the vans were redeployed, didnt they do away with the van drivers? Now of course it is possible that they laid so many off that they forgot to keep a few around to deliver the vans, yes that is a possibility. Someone to drive the van and then another to come pick that person up. Of course one would assume they would have kept enough employees to handle that and not lay them all off. Why lay off someone and have to pay the unemployment insurance just to hire someone else? Is it just me, or does anyone else smell that skunk?

      The Curious Case of BJ’s Cousin

      • Mark S says:

        BJ,

        Is your cousin directly employed by redflex or is he like a contract worker with no coverages from redflex and no worker protections?

        My guess these workers are contract employees and therefore redlex doesn’t have to worry about unemployment for these workers.

        • Ernest T. Bass says:

          Mark S.

          A little cheap perfume only masks the smell for a short time. I can smell it again already.

          I see where you are headed and I counter, even if you are correct about contract labor, why would Redflex lay off trained employees just to retrain new employees. It really makes no sense. Also contract labor laws are very stringent and are written to discourage legit employers from trying to dodge payroll taxes by hiring “contract labor”. I will check to verify but I am pretty sure that a contract labor employee can not even be given a work schedule.

        • Thanks for wasting our time with yet another Red Herring and/or Ad Hominem argument.

          To your point, companies absolutely do this to cut costs and liability. You are assuming that Redflex cares about adequately training their employees and contractors. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve undoubtedly seen several examples of their inadequacies.

          • Ernest T. Bass says:

            I believe that my point was made in the first post. From there Mark and yourself have not even addressed the true “point”. But have tried to spin it in a different direction.

          • Ernest T. Bass says:

            Twitter:

            You seem to have missed the entire message in my post and you even resorted to name calling in doing so. If BJ is some kind of cult hero here then so be it. However, it appears that he may have posed a question, (for what reason I have no idea) that seems to have been a fabrication, and it has either gone right over your heads or you just do not want to acknowledge it. Now where is BJ to clear this up?

  7. metelhed says:

    Oddly enough, that’s the sentiment with the regular patrol officers I encounter during my normal daily business. I have also encountered a few DHS employees who not only detest the cameras, but Napolitano as well. I’ve even had a few offer to come in during their off-duty hours and sign the petition to put this to a vote.

    I think it’s pretty telling when even the average law enforcement officers (not those who are politically motivated) disapprove of the cameras.

  8. BJ says:

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/06170618photoenforce.html

    The House “didn’t have time” to vote on HB2106, but the Senate has time to move forward a bill to attach POINTS TO THE DRIVERS LICENSES FOR EACH PHOTO TICKET??

    • Joe says:

      Lobbyists have this knack for getting the items they want shoved through to the floor. Want something passed? Throw money at the problem (meaning lobbyists). That’s how politics works in the USA, and you just saw a classic example of it, as you have a comparitive bill.

      The 2106 bill is going to sit because of what it would mean to pass it. To pass that bill would cost each legislator’s campaigns about $30,000 in “clean election” funding collected from the fine revenues. Nice, eh?

    • jgunn says:

      Insurance already went up statewide for everyone ticket or not even though auto theft is way down in the state, and accidents if you believe DPS. If this gets passed get ready to get rammed up the behind with higher insurance rates all around the state, ticket or no. Sadly we won’t even get a reach around for the troubles. Insurance companies want this bill passed so they can raise rates to the stratosphere.

      Kinda funny that someone will now be able to lose their license in 1 drive across town. Also, this bill would make it imperative that you do not respond to mailed tickets and dodge the process servers as there is a severe penalty if you reply to the mail without being served. Seems to me if I were Redflex, I would be dreading this bill, as in many ways it will mean way less revenue for their coffers.

      • Mark S says:

        The flash data is available for sale from Redflex. I learned that several insurance companies bought the data from Redflex and ats. They run comparisons of the flash data to that of their own records, whether you received notice or not.

        They will use this data against you whether you were prosecuted or not.

        My insurance company, who shall remain nameless because of the lizard told me they are raising my rates because I am a risk due to my license plate being caught by the scameras a few times. I have never received a notice or been served or prosecuted for a speeding ticket by these sameras.

        All you that are for the cameras, remember this. You are still affected by these cameras.

        Check this link. The data is available if you want to pay for it.

        http://www.azcentral.com/news/datacenter/speedcams.html

  9. Ernest T. Bass says:

    http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/06/20/20090620phxcrash-ON.html

    Chalk one up for speeding as it is listed as the cause of the accident.

    • Walter says:

      Now I see where you get your name. You share the same IQ.

      Second paragraph of the story.

      “A Phoenix Police official said speed was a factor, and said early reports indicate that alcohol impairment may have been a factor, as well.”

      I think the MOST important part is “alcohol impairment may have been a factor”.

      “Speed was a factor” is very different than “speeding”. Speed could be a factor even if you are going 10 under the posted limit.

      That was about the lamest excuse to support the cameras I have ever seen.

      • Ernest T. Bass says:

        I dont think that I wrote anything about this situation being an excuse for supporting the cameras. As much as PRS claims that speeding is hardly ever a factor I just wanted to point out one that it was a factor. As far as speeding vs. speed, are we in 1st grade here? I think we should know the difference. When someone is traveling down Lower Buckeye at a rate of speed great enough to cause an accident, do you really have to pretend like you dont know which kind of “speed” it was?

        • Walter says:

          I think it’s obvious that the alcohol was the main factor. Even IF the driver was “speeding” the most likely reason he wrecked was because he was DRUNK. NOT because he was speeding.

          What good would taking a drunks picture do? Send him a $181.00 speeding ticket in a few weeks. And let him keep driving. Sounds like a good idea to me…NOT

          • Ernest T. Bass says:

            Maybe you and I read two seperate articles. When it is reported that alcohol “may have been a factor” it is due to the fact that it was not obvious. So your claim that he was “drunk” without having been there or by reading anything to confirm that is how did you put it? Lame ?

            Better a drunk get a ticket in the mail for speeding than getting nothing at all since there are never enough cops to handle all the cars and size of this valley. Thats not the cops fault, its just reality. However, I am certain that you have an opinion on that and it probably will have something to do with putting blame on a fixed camera.

    • Mark S says:

      Speed is a factor in ANY accident, whether it is over the speed limit or moving at 5 MPH.

      My brother received a citation for failure to control speed to avoid an accident years ago and he was only going about 5 MPH. He was backing up and hit a garbage bucket. The county sheriff saw it and gave him a citation.

      It was a ridiculous BS citation and the judge did toss the ticket.

      • Malfeasant says:

        Hear hear. I’ve been in a few accidents in my time, (none that went on record were found to be my fault, for what it’s worth) and not a single one involved exceeding a posted speed limit, yet every single one of them could have been avoided if either I or the other guy had either slowed down a little or payed more attention. I tend to think posted speed limits reduce people’s awareness of what is a safe speed for what they’re doing- somebody posted this number, so it’s ok to do that. Bull. Speed limits are in general arbitrary, but kind of necessary in populated areas at least to keep people going similar speeds, not so much for keeping everybody under the posted speed. It is not so much the absolute speed as the difference in speed between two vehicles that increases the likelihood and damage of an accident.
        Driving cross country really illustrates this point- you can have the same road conditions in two different places, but because they’re in different states the speed limits are different. I was in Montana a few weeks ago, speed limits are 70mph almost everywhere, even on small secondary roads that wind through the mountains, where if you actually tried to go that fast, you’d go sailing off a cliff. Damn that was fun, I have a car that likes curves, and I could legally take them as fast as I felt comfortable, but I digress. On the other hand, in Michigan, you can be in the middle of the U.P. with nothing but forest around, a straight, level road, visibility for miles, but the limit is 55. Then in New Mexico, the same road would be posted 65. So which is a safe speed? When does it become unsafe?
        I’d love to move to Montana, but what would I do for work?

  10. Dr Jett says:

    The actual speed rarely would affect people if the State of Arizona would require more stringent drivers license tests so that people have to learn how to react to dangerous situations on any kind of road at any kind of speed. Everyone should have to start by riding a motorcycle so that they would learn how to become aware of their surronding traffic at all times. Those that didn’t learn would never end up in a car.

    • Mark S says:

      I agree. I feel that I am now a better car driver since I started riding a motorcycle again a few years ago. You have to be more vigilant on a motorcycle and be more aware of what is around you when riding.

  11. Bert says:

    Got an ugly ticket that I want to get out of. My friend turned me on to a free site, (no email needed, they make money on advertisements) on how to get out of a speeding ticket. It has a pretty funny video and I downloaded the pdf, and it looks pretty cool. I am going to try it out. It is http://www.ticket-gone.com Let me know what you think… Bert

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