Local police in Pennsylvania seek right to use radar

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Local police in Pennsylvania seek right to use radar. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 4pm on August 27, 2018.

While local police in Pennsylvania have a number of tools at their disposal to nab speeders, a radar gun is not one of them.

The state reserves the technology for state troopers only.

That issue was top of mind for the Upper Darby police department on Monday morning as officers conducted four-hour speed enforcement period just past the intersection of Township Line and State roads, a stretch notorious for speeding.

More than two dozen tickets of more than $150 were issued. A state trooper was sent out with radar, while six local officers actually pulled the drivers over down the road.

"Speed limit is 35 miles an hour. I would guarantee you the majority are speeding at 50 miles an hour without blinking an eye," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

He wants the municipality, not the state to be able to use and enforce speed radars along this stretch.

"We have to call state police they come out and do the radar then they have six officers that stop the people. It's crazy that in this day and age that we can't have our own radar," Chitwood said.

State Representative Jamie Santora is pushing a bill that would lift the 57-year-old ban, but he's up against staunch opponents who say this only makes it easier for local police to use radar in so-called "speed traps" to make money.

"We need radar enforcement at the local level. We are the only state in the country that does not allow our local police to use radar, and that's something that necessary," said Chitwood.

"My officers go to the same school and are qualified at the same level as state police officer, except for when they leave the academy state police get a radar gun, when my officers leave the academy they get a phone to call up the state police to come down and enforce it," said Mayor Thomas Micozzie.

If the bill currently in the works gets passed, this program could be up and running as soon as soon as 60 days later.

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pennsylvania newsspeedingpoliceUpper Darby Township
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