Volunteers may patrol with radar guns

Burlingame police are waiting for a green light from the city attorney's office before they implement a plan to slow down traffic on city streets by having volunteers patrol with radar guns, a sergeant said today.

The proposal made it through the police chief's office, and now the department is waiting for the city attorney to review the proposal to ensure that no aspects of the plan involve liability for the city or department, according to Sgt. Don Shepley, who came up with the idea for the program.

Shepley began thinking about trying to implement a program like this one a few years ago because the city's traffic division is “decimated due to budget cuts and injuries.”

The program will come at a minimal cost to the department, because the radar guns are available and the people patrolling the streets will be volunteers, Shepley said. The plan is that police officers will train volunteers and manage the program.

Volunteers will patrol the streets in pairs with a radar gun, according to Shepley. Drivers who are caught speeding will have their license plate number written down, and receive a warning letter from the Police Department. Although there is no fine attached to the letter, the hope is that people will slow down when they know they are being clocked.

“We want people who are willing to not only patrol their own neighborhoods, but the entire city,” Shepley said.

Volunteers will go through a minor background check before being allowed to enter the program.

“We want to make sure that they are law-abiding citizens before we turn them lose with a city of Burlingame logo on their back,” Shepley said.

— Bay City News

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