Each week Four Oaks Police Chief Stephen Anderson says he received 5 to 6 complaints about speeding. However, until Thursday the department didn’t have any working radar units. Two used units are now on loan to the police department but because officers aren’t certified to use the radar units, they can’t write any tickets based off the radar speed.
Anderson said the Princeton Police Department this week loaned Four Oaks two of their outdated radar units. Each unit is more than 10 years old and will no longer be on a list of approved radar units for police to use after June 2017. Anderson said it is not worthwhile to send his officers to a 40-hour radar school on units they can no longer use in 12 months. Without the certification, the radar reading is not admissible in court.
There is no money in the newly adopted fiscal year budget to purchase any radar units, which cost about $1,500 each.
Anderson says it is hard to write speeding tickets when you don’t have the equipment to enforce the speed limits. Officers recently have stepped up patrols along Main, Stanley and Sanders Streets because of speeding complaints from citizens but can’t write speeding tickets.
During Monday night’s town board meeting, Mayor Linwood Parker encouraged Chief Anderson and his officers to use the borrowed radar units to enforce the speed limit, even though drivers won’t be given a ticket.
Anderson says the problem isn’t new. When he took over as police chief in 2015, the department’s radar unit was missing parts and inoperable. Anderson hopes the department can find a way to purchase at least one radar unit and have at least one officer certified on the new unit in the near future.