On-duty trooper seemed out of place

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I recently witnessed a Georgia State Patrol officer with a radar gun at the bottom of the hill on Deer Run in Evans. This seemed odd to me. Why was the state patrol taking on a duty that we have plenty of local Columbia County officers to do?

When I called people at Atlanta headquarters, they were adamant that state patrol officers could be anywhere in the state, which is the law, but I did get them to agree that looking for speeders in the back of one of the county's smaller neighborhoods is not the best use of resources.

The state patrol has to respond to calls of all kinds. However, every time you call the state patrol rather than the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, you're pulling highly trained officers who could be policing higher-crime areas into a minor problem, which is a waste of state tax dollars.

I am not debating that people drive down that hill too fast, but this issue should be handled at the local level, leaving that state patrol to chase serious criminals.

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palmetto1007
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palmetto1007 09/11/10 - 10:51 pm
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State highway patrols charge

State highway patrols charge is highway traffic...not chasing "serious" criminals. May I suggest volunteer work? I know that the food banks, hospitals, and a vast array of social service agencies could use more help.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 09/11/10 - 11:06 pm
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....another durned if you do,

....another durned if you do, durned if you dont. Check the Georgia Law on running radar. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but Local departments are not allowed to run radar (and issue traffic citations) on roads with a speed limit less than 35 mph. GSP can. Local departments cannot run radar (and issue traffic citations) on a road that is not approved (surveyed and certified) by the State. GSP can. Local Departments cannot start writing tickets until the speed exceeds 10 mph (School zones excepted). GSP can write tickets at 1 mph over. One of their duties is TRAFFIC LAW enforcement. That can mean in a neighborhood where idiot residents think they can just drive as fast as they want. One would think that the Trooper being there would be a great way for people to slow down in the neighborhood. I would think that the Sheriff of a county (unless the Sheriff has a traffic division) would want his deputies looking out for the serious criminals and leave the traffic enforcement primarily to the State Patrol. Next time, go by and thank the Trooper being there and thinking enough of your neighborhood to try and slow people down to keep the residents (which includes children) safe. I wish they would come into mine.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 09/11/10 - 11:12 pm
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plus, the first time someone

plus, the first time someone is hurt by a speeding car in that neighborhood, the outcry would be that law enforcement is not doing anything. The writer of the letter acknowledges there is speeding, so maybe the trooper is there because of a complaint and the aforementioned restrictions limit CCSO.

curly123053
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curly123053 09/11/10 - 11:21 pm
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The writer of this LTE must

The writer of this LTE must be a transplant from somewhere else. If she does not know that one of the primary functions of state patrol troopers is traffic control, then she has had her head stuck in the ground somewhere. Same in almost every state I been in.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 09/12/10 - 05:43 am
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Intelligent use of taxpayer

Intelligent use of taxpayer money is apparently a difficult habit to form.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 09/12/10 - 06:59 am
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Holly, just how much law
Unpublished

Holly, just how much law enforcement experience do you have to be judging the GSP's procedures?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 09/12/10 - 07:42 am
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hickstreetlane, All police

hickstreetlane, All police have authority to issue a citation at ANY speed over the limit, not just 10 mph. As a matter of fact, if conditions aren't ideal, you don't even have to be going over the limit. The 10 MPH over is a myth.

To those who always complain about the police and so called "speed traps", just obey the law and you have nothing to worry about.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 09/12/10 - 07:51 am
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Hot issue!! VERY

Hot issue!!
VERY important!
Pay attention now, y'all!

lsmith
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lsmith 09/12/10 - 09:11 am
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You can thank your
Unpublished

You can thank your illustrious Columbia County Commissioners, and in particular Ron Cross for the increased State Patrol presence in the county. Commissioners offered to build and did build a new State patrol headquarters in Columbia County, relocating the station from it's longtime home in Thomson. WE paid for their new building, and now WE'RE benefiting (depending on who you ask) to increased state patrol attention on our roads. I too have seen many state patrol officers prowling around in the county backroads. At one time I thought the state patrol limited their efforts to state roads, (main roads) but I guess I was wrong.
I think Sheriff Whittle's department was adequately resourced and did a good job of patroling Columbia County. The money we spent building that state patrol station could've been better spent elsewhere.
The good news is the doughnut shops are really benefiting.

maggiemae
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maggiemae 09/12/10 - 10:03 am
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Some body got a

Some body got a ticket...na-na-na-

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 09/12/10 - 10:07 am
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That's usually the source of

That's usually the source of the gripes, maggiemae! LOL

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/12/10 - 10:07 am
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It is not the policy of the

It is not the policy of the GSP to routinely patrol roads in Columbia County. They are assigned mainly to rural areas. Of course they CAN patrol anywhere. It appears the section of Deer Run is a problem and maybe someone asked the GSP to issue a few tickets since they can do the one mph over thing and the county can't.

ISmith also may be touching on the subject. It was controversial for the county to build the Post headquarters out of county money. The GSP said it wouldn't increase fine money in Columbia County even though local leaders used that as a reason to furnish the land up by the interstate and build the headquarters. I wouldn't be surprise if the GSP hasn't been asked to be visible now and then to justify the huge cost of the county paid.

One last thing, it sounds like the letter writer got a ticket there...smile.

skipper
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skipper 09/12/10 - 10:17 am
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It is clear that lsmith has

It is clear that lsmith has animosity built up for either the State Patrol or the County Commission. What's the matter, didn't get your road paved or did ya get a ticket? Before YOU get involved in politics and open your pie hole about where YOUR tax money goes, check and see where the ticket money that the State Patrol generates goes to. It goes to the COUNTY. That's right, the County Jail, Sheriff's retirement, Judges retirement, Courthouse fund and the COUNTY's general fund. So you just showed us all that You are NOT the one to ask. Ron Cross should be commended for bringing that extra revenue into the County.. Thanks Ron. One more bit.....lsmith, pay your ticket, WE NEED THE MONEY.

skipper
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skipper 09/12/10 - 10:23 am
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Everyone talks about money.

Everyone talks about money. This is a FACT and you can take it straight to the bank. The County sets the fine amounts for the tickets. The state sets the maximum amount it can be. That's is the reason fines vary from County to County and City to City.

skipper
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skipper 09/12/10 - 10:26 am
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My Grandaddy told me one

My Grandaddy told me one time, "You know somethin boy? A kicked dog will holla ?"

Discussionstarter
495
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Discussionstarter 09/12/10 - 11:30 am
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GSP... please come to Furys

GSP... please come to Furys Ferry Road between West Lake and Riverwatch. I promise... you will stay busy! Thanks to the GSP for everything they do!!!

Discussionstarter
495
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Discussionstarter 09/12/10 - 11:32 am
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More.... I also wish it would

More.... I also wish it would be 'handled at the local level' but it is not. I have called CC Sheriff's Traffic Control too many times... to no avail.

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 09/12/10 - 01:23 pm
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Skipper, the point you are

Skipper, the point you are missing is that the patrol has said it is not their policy to predominantly patrol big counties with large law enforcement presences. They concentrate on the rural counties. They also said they didn't expect ticket writing to increase in Columbia County. This has been discussed extensively in the Chronicle and News-Times. Maybe your granddaddy shouldn't have been kicking dogs.

Phantm006
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Phantm006 09/12/10 - 03:09 pm
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No Comment

No Comment

Sweet son
10555
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Sweet son 09/12/10 - 06:27 pm
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Troopers are a drop in the

Troopers are a drop in the bucket compared to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department Traffic Division. If you call the Post on Chamblin Road and ask how many troopers are on duty at any given time there might be 3,4, maybe 5. They are responsible for Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, Warren and Taliferro counties. I might have missed a county. Get a scanner, get the Columbia County Sheriff"s frequencies and listen. Traffic stops probably account for 2 out of 3 calls. I am not saying this iw wrong by any means but they do make a lot of traffic stops and most result in a citation.

follower
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follower 09/12/10 - 07:45 pm
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CC or GSP could write dozens

CC or GSP could write dozens of tickets a day on this road. It's a little over 1 and half miles long with 25mph speed limit. It should be 35, but then everyone would go 40-50mph.

By the way, it's called Deer Run for a reason. While I haven't seen a deer hit in many years there, there are literally 100's in the neighborhood, not to mention the 50 or so geese that have taken up residence.

If everyone would keep it 34 or below, there wouldn't be a problem. But the burnout marks in the middle of the road within the first quarter mile will tell you why the police presence is there. And no, I didn't call them, but I understand why they are there.

lsmith
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lsmith 09/12/10 - 08:52 pm
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skipper: my my my......how
Unpublished

skipper: my my my......how unperceptive you are. Seans rules of blog decorum prevent a proper response to your less than courteous post so I'll just try to tone it down to something permissible. I've not had a wreck or ticket of any kind for over a dozen years, at my age I don't run the roads like I used to. And I have no bone to pick with the state patrol other than they seem to always be where they are not needed and absent where they should. I can't blame them for wanting to stay close to doughnut shops and city sites, it's might boring out there on the Interstate.
Likewise I have no bone to pick with county commissioners in general, some are my friends. Ron Cross can go butt a stump though.
And I believe we Columbia County taxpayers have fully funded salaries and equipment for Sheriff Whittle to handle road patrol, and they do a good job. You need to check your numbers on the distribution of the state patrol dollars though. There's no way the county should have spent that money to build that patrol HQ, particularly in these times.

And if a kicked dog will hollar.....you musta got rumped hard cause yo is hollarin' pretty loud and long in here..........soak it in some warm water, put some o'granny smiff's old tyme ointment on it and it'll ease up I promise.....

Riverman1
84926
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Riverman1 09/12/10 - 09:21 pm
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There are about 760 GS

There are about 760 GS Patrolmen. There are 48 Georgia State Posts plus the Capitol Area Post. Keep in mind the hours necessary. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are few at each post to patrol the counties assigned. I believe I read once where there were 12 assigned to the Grovetown Post to patrol Warren, Glascock, McDuffie, Richmond and Columbia counties. Remember you have to consider such things as vacation, holiday time, illness, etc. while covering the area 24 hours a day.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 09/12/10 - 11:28 pm
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Tigger, sure any police can

Tigger, sure any police can write "anything". But if they write a ticket to someone who is smart and checks out the law, if the officer did not follow the law, then they will lose the case and if the officer knowingly wrote the ticket violating the laws in place, it can open them up to civil penalties.
Using Radar, the local police (except for GSP) have to give 10. Pacing a vehicle may be different but when using radar(or speed detection device), the following applies:

Read

http://law.justia.com/georgia/codes/40/40-14.html

Also

http://www.uga.edu/icje/documents/EvidenceforDummies.pdf

(Dated I admit, but it still is in effect)

(Taken from Georgia Traffic Law Sections 40-14 1-9

A. County, City, College Officers
-device approved by DPS (40- 14- 1)
-sheriff or governing authority or president applies for DPS permit (40-14-2)
-operators must be certified (40-14-2)
-must name roads for use to DPS application (40-14-3)
-need FCC license (40- 14-4)
-device certified by DPS technician before putting in service and annually (40-14-4)
-officer must test device for accuracy/record/maintain results at beginning and end of duty (40-14-5)
-test made in accordance with manufacturer's recommended procedure (40- 14-5)
-officer must notify Defendant of right to request accuracy before citation issued (40-14-5)
-radar warning signs on state highways at limits/boundary (30' by 30') (40-14-6)
-no device used within 500 feet of warning sign (40-14-6)
-stationary radar not operated where obstructed view of vehicle, at least 500 feet (40-14-7)
-speed must exceed posted limits by 10 mph (40-14-8)
-but marked school zones/historic zoneslresidential zones (34 mph or less)(40-14-8)
-No use within 300 feet of city speed reduction/600 feet county speed reduction or 30 day change
(40-1 4-9)
-No use on highway portion with grade in excess of 7 percent (40-14-9)

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