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Thursday, October 30, 2014
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(mgnonline.com)

(mgnonline.com)

Electronic speed detectors approved for I-10 in Welsh

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:42 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

WELSH ­­­— The town council voted 4-1 Tuesday to give Police Chief Marcus Crochet the go-ahead to implement a photo speed enforcement program to target speeders on a section of Interstate 10.

Crochet hopes to begin using the new electronic speed detectors by January.

“I think it will help the traffic on I-10 to slow down, and we won’t have as many accidents out there,” he said. “It will make travel safer on the three-mile stretch of I-10 we have.”

Officers will use a hand-held light detection and ranging radar gun equipped with a camera. The camera will take pictures of the vehicle and its license plate, as well as document the speed and coordinates of the vehicle.

“The officers will physically hold and point the radar at the vehicle,” Crochet said. “It will not be a pole-mounted camera or on a box on a trailer.”

Violators will receive a citation in the mail.

“The camera puts your vehicle here, and each citation sent has a photo of the vehicle and it is entered as evidence,” Crochet said.

All officers will be trained and certified to use the system to target vehicles and can be subpoenaed to testify in court, he said.

“We don’t have to put officers chasing cars (to personally issue a citation) or pay for fuel with the system,” Crochet said.

The off-duty officers will operate the radar for extra pay during their off time based on four- to 12-hour shifts similar to the Traffic Enforcement Detail program.

“The officers will never be monitoring traffic on I-10 while on patrol, unless they are called out for a specific reason,” Crochet said. “Our city streets come first.”

Concerned resident Thomas Hotard said the photo radar is a way of stopping people for the purpose of raising revenue, not safety.

“It’s a way of stealing money from other people who are trying to get from point A to point B,” Hotard said. “We’re doing it to make money off people as opposed to doing it for safety issues.”

Crystal Crochet, wife of the police chief, defended the program, saying the radars are a way of making money to fund police officers and buy equipment.

Under a contract approved by the town, Blue Line Solutions will provide the equipment to the town at no cost. It has also agreed to pay the $25-per-hour rate for officers using the radar.

The company will receive 50 percent of the fines collected from each citation with the other half going to the town’s general fund.

The only cost to the town will be a $3,500 fee paid to the state Department of Transportation and Development to inspect and certify the section of I-10 to be manned by the new radars.

Alderman Bob Owens, who voted against the program, said now is not the time to begin a program that doesn’t earn the town 100 percent of the funds when the town is facing financial problems.

“It’s the wrong time to do it,” Owens said. “We have a shortfall, and we need every dollar. We don’t need to be giving half of it away.”

Westlake and Jennings are considering similar programs, Crochet said.

Posted By: I10 driver On: 5/7/2014

Title: Their radar is not correct

I was using cruise and fix speed 70 mph.he stopped me and told me I was 83 mph.I have state farm black box I checked it when I went to home I never passed more 72mph.

Posted By: Welsh Voter On: 2/21/2014

Title: Not voting for Crochet again

I cast my vote for him last election. He WON'T be getting it again.

Posted By: pqw On: 11/25/2013

Title: who pays?

Is this company going to pay the police department when they have officers in the court trying to convince the judge that the owner of the car was the one driving it? Who pays for the investigative time it will take to research who was driving a car registered to Hertz? That is going to get interesting since Hertz does not have to just voluntarily have to give that information. At least we still have due process. FOR NOW.

Posted By: pj On: 11/23/2013

Title: Abuse of authority, corrupt to its core

Welcome my friends to the new face of government. What do you expect from these politicians, corrupt, stupid and self-serving to the core, they could not help but harvest whatever low-hanging fruit might be found in their fiefdom, damn the morality of it. Have mercy on bubba politico, who was bamboozled when he/she was wined and dined by the speed trap salesman. So we now must endure the outcome of their bad decision. Consider it "just another tax" as Justice Roberts said of Obamacare. If it worked for fedgov, it can work for Welsh, too, right? Expect more of this as things get more desperate with our over-reaching, over-spending government, on all levels. Remember, we get the government we deserve. As for Welsh, their merchants will inevitably see the boycott of most of those traveling on I-10 to minimize their exposure to this newly cultivated sleazy, shake-down jurisdiction.

Posted By: Numba07 On: 11/23/2013

Title: my money

I was born and raised in the N.O. area, but am now living in the Austin area. I "come home" to N.O. 2-3 times a year, always looking forward to a stop @ Dairy Queen @ exit 55 in Welsh. This town council has just ensured that I will never stop in their stupid little Podunk town again. Stick a cop out there if you need to, but the cameras are too "Big Brother"

Posted By: Will On: 11/23/2013

Title: Waze

I recommend all I-10 travelers get the Google "Waze" navigation app for their iPhone/Android devices. Users will map officers using these devices within minutes, then the app warns other Wazers passing through automatically.

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Posted By: Georg On: 11/22/2013

Title: Electronic speed detectors approved for I-10 in Welsh

Crystal Crochet, "the radars are a way of making money to fund police officers and buy equipment." Yet the article states: it's going into the town’s general fund. Unless the money is dedicated, it will magically disappear before ever being used to fund police. ...It ALWAYS works that way in LA does it......
Why not just erect toll (tax) booths, at least they could keep most of the revenue. Come election time, I hope you locals remember the names of the council who approved this and vote accordingly!

Why not just erect toll (tax) booths, at least they could keep most of the revenue. Come election time, I hope you locals remember the names of the council who approved this and vote accordingly! " />

Posted By: Patrick On: 11/22/2013

Title: 32:266

I am guessing this program will be limited to only speeders going 10 mph or over the posted speed limit? R.S. 32:266 requires 100% of all fines from speeding tickets for less than 10mph over the speed limit issued by towns like Welsh on the interstate to go to the state's Louisiana Highway Safety Fund.

Posted By: Keith On: 11/22/2013

Title:

Agree. Welsh is using this as a fund raiser only. To say this is for safety is a joke. No way does a town need to police the Interstate highway. This is small town Lousiana corruption at its finest. The Welsh town council should be embarressed, ashamed, & resign. Bet some of them got kickbacks from Blue Line.

Posted By: Bill On: 11/22/2013

Title:

This is insane. I recall the very first section of I-30 in Little Rock. It was a new bridge across the Arkansas River. Both Little Rock and North Little Rock police swarmed the bridge in numbers. The state legislature was in session and the very next day passed a bill that said The Arkansas State Police would have soul power to enforce traffic regulations on the Interstate Highways. It has worked well for some 60 years. No private company should profit from this and no off duty policeman should have any more right than any one else to work for this extra high pay at the expense of Interstate Traffic. Everyone should contact their state and even federal representatives and scream loud and long.for a bill to stop this.
"ONLY THE STATE POLICE SHOULD CONTROL TRAFFIC ON THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS."

Posted By: Me On: 11/22/2013

Title: Really

Money making proposition. Plain and simple. Has absolutely nothing to do with public safety. Also, if I lend my vehicle to a friend, and they get caught speeding, who gets the ticket????

Posted By: Scott On: 11/22/2013

Title: Electronic speed detectors approved for I-10 in Welsh

The police should have better things to do then watching I-10 for speeders! Sulphur had a similar program and it lasted a week but it was in town and not the interstate. It was illegal for them to do it so it was removed.

Posted By: Prove its me On: 11/21/2013

Title: Proof of driver

How to prove who is driving? The owner of the vehicle is not necessarily the driver of the vehicle. So you are going have a percent of people that have to waste time proving they are truly innocent. I agree with Dennis and Hotard.... solely a money maker..... get rid of this before it causes more issues than you want to deal with.

Posted By: Dennis On: 11/21/2013

Title: Electronic speed detectors approved for I-10 in Welsh

The photo radar is a way of stopping people for the purpose of raising revenue, not safety. I agree with Mr. Hotard. I don't think any town should be allowed to police Interstate highways, that should be for State Troopers only. Don't you people get enough money by stealing from us on our taxes. If there is something the Feds should step in on it's this. And Blue Line Solutions be DAMMED.

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