Traffic Cameras Could Stop Rogue Cops - And Response (2)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Although still somewhat skeptical, I've come to realize the potential for traffic cameras such as the one Sheriff Hammond has tried to introduce as long as there's some kind of oversight to monitor and prevent abuse.  

Some of the most dangerous encounters between cops and citizens, mostly the citizen is on the losing side, take place during routine traffic stops. Recently an elderly 70-year-old was shot by a South Carolina deputy who mistook the elderly man's cane for a shotgun (he was one of the few lucky ones. The bullet didn't kill him). It is also during routine traffic stops that rogue cops are more prone to abuse and to use excessive force when it's not warranted.  

Although there have been cases of abuse in other towns where it was exposed traffic cameras were being manipulated, anything that will limit contact between cop and citizen during a routine traffic stop has the potential for good as long as there's oversight and regular equipment checks to make sure calibration numbers or whatever is used in modern technology aren't being tampered with or manipulated. Perhaps with time technology could render the traffic cop obsolete? 

Brenda Manghane-Washington

* * *

Here we go again.  Once again Ms. Washington, you use irrational hatred to make what you think is a good argument against police.  You know little about what a police officer does.  You think you do, based solely on your prejudices, which I think may be largely born from exaggerated stories that other people tell you. 

I'll try to explain things a little bit.   When a "traffic cop" stops someone, a beat down does not ensue.  When a "traffic cop" stops you, there is a chance you will get a ticket, and a chance that you will get a warning.  A "traffic cop" can enforce laws other than speeding and red light violations.  Imagine?  When the guy doing 98mph on Highway 153 cuts you off and almost forces you off the road, the traffic camera could not care less.  It's staring intently at the white line at the intersection, with its tongue hanging out, drooling, waiting for some poor fool to miss the light by a few feet.   It's staring at that white line on the roadway as you are mumbling "where's a cop when ya need one?".  I'm fairly certain that traffic camera's high-five each other when they catch someone going a few miles per hour over the limit at 3 a.m.  They get their 50 bucks, even if its not from the person driving.  A traffic camera will automatically send the registered owner of a vehicle a ticket.  The camera (and the company behind it, and the state) don't care if the vehicle owner was driving.  They get fined regardless.  A "traffic cop" would never hunt you down to issue you a ticket for a violation committed by someone else.  Most cops I know (and I know hundred's) give tickets to less than half of the folks that they pull over.  Sometimes a warning is enough, and more valuable.   I don't know any cops that stop someone for tailgating (something else the camera's care nothing about, yet causes more accidents than anything else I can think of) and proceed to go "rogue".  Sometimes a "traffic cop" has to use force.  Sometimes deadly force.  But that is not because someone cut someone else off.  It's because someone in the car became violent or dangerous. 

 
I'm sorry you feel the way you do about police officers, but if you ever meet one on the side of the road, just be polite.  You'll always have that chance to explain yourself, and possibly be on your way free of charge.  Unlike the traffic cameras, who were too busy to notice you cut someone off because they were high-fiving each other over their last "kill". 
 

Andrew Peker

* * *

Mrs. Washington, if you should come home to find the door smashed in and your jewelry, computers, even the copper pipes cut from under the house, who do you call?  

You are an outspoken representative of the black community in Chattanooga, where young black people will shoot and kill 40 to 50 other young black people this year simply because they have entered the wrong neighborhood.  If shooting breaks out on the street in front of your home, who will you call? May I also remind you that there are quite a few black cops on the streets of Chattanooga. Are they as quick to beat down a traffic violator because of their race?

My point is that without police officers in those patrol cars, there is no one else to call.  I hope at some point in time you will become the voice of peace and cooperation between police and civilians, between blacks and whites, maybe even between rival gangs.  

What is the point of degrading the police department? They have a tough and often thankless job. Constantly bashing all cops is uncalled for and certainly doesn't bring peace to the city. If you have a suggestion for improving relations between the black community and law enforcement in Chattanooga, please write it up, and send it in. But for a long time now, you have shown nothing but contempt for the only hope that we all have when we are victims of crime. The only number to call is 911.

Harry Presley


No More Money For Schools

Re: County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added No. No way. Really, NO! is not a big enough word to express my sentiments here. Even the exclamation point doesn’t add enough to do the job properly.  Mr. Coppinger said, “They are saying if you do this, we’re ... (click for more)

Collegedale's Wreck Problem

Re: Speed Limits Being Lowered On Main Collegedale Thoroughfare  I just read your story on Collegedale lowers speed limit for main thoroughfare.  It's funny the city claims they will have TDOT put up dangerous intersection signs, because last summer when it was stated in a story (possibly not by your company) that they were dropping the speed limit from 55 to 50 on ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Judge Poole Rules In Favor Of State On Billy Hawk Murder Cold Case Motions

Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has ruled that the state can introduce at the murder trial of Billy Hawk testimony about his alleged drug involvement with the victim in the case, Johnny Mack Salyer. Hawk is charged in the 1981 murder of Salyer, whose body was found in a 55-gallon drum in the Tennessee River. The witnesses indicated that Salyer was cooperating in the drug case ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Inter-Squad Scrimmage Saturday

Chattanooga FC will hold an Inter-squad match Saturday, May 7th, 7:00pm at Finley Stadium. The event is open to the public and free for all who attend.  The 2016 roster is set! The Inter-squad match will be the first chance for fans to see their CFC team in action. After the game, everyone will have the opportunity to get autographs, take photos, and talk with players, ... (click for more)

Baylor's Kayla Hughes Named FCA Christian Athlete Of The Year

Baylor School softball star, Kayla Hughes, was named the Greater Chattanooga FCA’s Christian Athlete of the Year at the ministry’s annual Day of Champions Sunday afternoon at Ridgedale Baptist Church.  Hughes, who will continue her softball career at Tennessee Tech, was chosen from among twelve high school FCA senior leaders nominated by area schools.  This is the 53rd ... (click for more)