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Radar to return when final service document is filed

LAWRENCEVILLE -- It took two days for 16 councils and commissions to hold special meetings and vote to settle Gwinnett's long-awaited service delivery settlement.

It took an hour or so for mayors and clerks to sign the stacks of documents.

It took a day for a judge to sign off on the deal, which ended a three-year-long court battle.

But overcoming the final hurdle, which could free the governments from sanctions that include the loss of radar guns to enforce speeding on Gwinnett roads, has taken more than two weeks. And the end is not in sight.

"Nothing about this one fits the norm," Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said of the long wait to file paperwork with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. "It's just symbolic of the whole situation."

Within days of the settlement, officials filed paper copies of the legal documents, which outline new service districts for fire and police, giving breaks on county taxes to people who live in cities that perform those services.

But Nash said the DCA now asks for electronic filing of information into a service database. Some of the entries are limited to 80 characters -- a little more than half the size of a tweet.

"They never envisioned something as complicated as our (agreement)," Nash said, adding that staffers have been drafting and redrafting the filing, which has to be approved by county officials and mayors from all 15 cities.

The information also must include services that were not in dispute in the lawsuit, such as water and sewer maps.

"It's a pretty good-sized package, when you put it all together," Nash said. "We have no reason to drag it out. We are working as fast as we can on it."

Angie Holt, the director of special investigations for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said all of the local police agencies have submitted the paperwork to receive a speed enforcement permit.

In fact, in Snellville, where the permit doesn't expire until 2013, cops have already begun using the equipment to clock speeders, after an application to add a road to the enforcement zone halted it.

While Auburn and Braselton also had permits that did not expire and Loganville police has continued to use the equipment in its Walton jurisdiction, the others quickly gathered the required paperwork. That includes a letter from the governing authority, a copy of the FCC radio license, a copy of the most current annual certificate of calibration on each device and documents that show certification for every officer set to use the device, Holt said the final documents were submitted more than a week ago.

Yet, she still has to wait until the Department of Community Affairs document is in and the department renews the local qualified government status of each jurisdiction, lifting the court-imposed sanctions.

"As soon, as I receive word from DCA that they receive the documentation ... we'll issue the permits the same day," she said, adding that the police departments don't need the permit in hand, just confirmation that it is in the mail, to begin using the devices.

"I have pledged to notify each one of them their permit is in the mail," she said. "It will start when DCA notifies me the governments in Gwinnett County are compliant, whether it be tomorrow or whether it be March 1 or after. ... Our department wants to facilitate issuing the permits as soon as legally possible."

Comments

pjm123 2 years, 8 months ago

Speeding tickets are just another revenue source. Saving lives is just a line they use to justify it. If your gonna speed your gonna speed and the cops aren't always around. Have you ever noticed that in the cities you pay a bigger fine for speeding then you do in the county? Gee I wonder why.

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kevin 2 years, 8 months ago

With development comes congestion. WIth congestion comes slower driving. It is a price we much pay to drive in Gwinnett, thanks to the politicians who want more tax money property taxes to spend. This is why we need radar. People who feel then can make up for lost time at red lights and such, will drive 50+mph even in school zones. When they aren't satified, they tailgate you until you speed up and go over the limit. I believe that tailgating is more serious than going 5-10 mpg over the speed limit, except in school zones of course.

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news2me 2 years, 8 months ago

Of course this is about revenue. But lets be painfully honest. You have to be driving well above the posted speed limit and driving somewhat wrecklessly to get ticketed in this traffic congested county. If one is able to speed anywhere in Gwinnett the citation and fine are well deserved.

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Mack711 2 years, 8 months ago

Do not believe in speeding however some of the speed limits are set up to catch some one speeding. Yes it is a revenue tool that the local and county officials use to raise funds in order to make up for some shortfalls in their budgets. If you are on 85 and doing 65 you better be in one of the right lanes, you will get passed, at times, by faster moving vehicles. On the other hand you will see a driver on 85 in one of the left lanes doing 55 and could cause a real pile up. They need to watch this just as much as the ones going over the limit. It says slower traffic keep right. Wish we could have the city of Gwinnett and do away with all the small city police departments and have the county doing the enforcement by taking in all the city officers under the county police.

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Rocket1300 2 years, 8 months ago

There is now data that shows public safety wasn't effected by the radar gun moratorium this past year or so. That, to me proves it is only a source of ill gotten revenue and nothing more.

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Veryconcernedcitizen 2 years, 8 months ago

Rocket1300, You can't really base this conclusion on statistics for one year. I am all for speeding tickets being a revenue generator. Let the unlucky and stupid help the rest of us out.

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Mack711 2 years, 8 months ago

@veryconcerned citizen Agree, let the speeders pay. However it has been reported in the GDP and other area publications in the area that criminal activity has dropped since radar has not been used. This tells us that the police have been able to patrol more instead of using radar. Now the question is: Do you want to be more proctected from a speeder, or a criminal who may do harm to you and/or your property?

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Veryconcernedcitizen 2 years, 8 months ago

Mack711, Who is more dangerous; a kid breaking into your home during the middle of the day or a reckless speeder? Property can be replaced. People can't. The drop in crime is nationwide and not just in Gwinnett County. Unless you live in the City of Norcross where murders are up about 2000%. Any college statistics class will tell you that one year is too small of a sample for what you are trying to compare.

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Mack711 2 years, 8 months ago

A kid did not break into my house in the middle of the day. It was done while we were out. We returned at about 11:30 PM or so. My neighbor heard the alarm looked out the window only to see a dark car speeding away. Yes a kid could have done this . To this day no one has been captured for this crime.At the time we arrived and the city police was called only to find out that they were running radar. The alarm company called them it took a while for them to get there. Fortunately nothing was taken and no one was hurt. Insurance paid for the damage to the window and the house minus the deductable . Could the police have prevented this, probably not, but maybe so if they patroled more instead of operating radar. Like one officer said the city needs $$$ and there is no $$$ in catching criminals. Hope you never need them to come to your house.becaus of some one breaking in while you are not there, terrible feeling

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