4/19/2006Denver Police Chief Escapes Speed Camera Justice
Denver, Colorado police chief supports speed camera tickets for others, but does not pay them himself.
Denver, Colorado Police Chief Gerry Whitman supports the use of photo radar systems to ticket motorists, but he does not apply this policy to himself or his officers. According to a report by Denver's Office of the Independent Monitor, Whitman was caught in March driving 10 MPH over the limit in a school zone. In such circumstances, the $40 fine for ordinary speeding would have doubled to $80 had Whitman not exercised his authority to avoid payment.
Whitman is not alone in avoiding tickets. In the first quarter of 2006, police officers -- primarily the senior ranks of lieutenants, sergeants and detectives -- racked up 15 photo radar tickets for driving up to 18 MPH over the limit in residential areas and school zones. While more than 50,000 Denver citizens have paid such fines, no police officer has paid a ticket this year. Instead, the officers received "reprimands."
Denver's photo radar program has a history of controversy. In 2002, private contractor ACS overcharged motorists $100,000 by double-billing those who received speed camera citations. In January that year, a county judge ruled that the camera program was illegal because ACS operated every aspect of the profitable program. Police later made a few changes and re-instated ticketing.
A full copy of the report is available in a 35k PDF file at the source link below.