A different RADAR gun situation

A newly elected sheriff in a small Ohio town discovered that the department had not renewed their FCC license to operate RADAR units. She has declared all speeding tickets issued since 2013 to be unlawful.


Nit pick. But it looks like that Lt has a laser gun not a radar gun like caption reads.

Radar and lidar tend to get serviced one per year by an outside source who files the renewal paperwork. Wonder why that outside source didn’t send reminder notices to the department.

But usually if a department has a license for their radio equipment they don’t need one for their radar units. I wonder what the deal is there.
Are they not using radios in their squads?

How can the city afford to give back the ticket money? That’s a big part of the town’s revenue.

Some small towns setup speed traps. Arkansas law clamps down on speed trap towns. I’d guess other states have similar law.

Tickets are still a significant source of revenue. Even staying under 30%.

It would bankrupt a small town to give back ticket fines since 2013.

I’m quoting this to give an indication of the revenue towns raise from tickets.

Is there any particular reason that you capitalize radar? I thought it became a common noun long ago.

It’s not clear how a sheriff can simply order money to be paid back to the speeders, unless she’s paying it back out of her own department’s budget.

But the Newark Advocate article cited in the Morning Journal article has this additional tidbit:

The main effect the sheriff’s actions are having right now is that her officer (yes, singular) is not writing any new speeding tickets for the time being.

Ok, paying $840 to renew the FCC license shouldn’t be a major expense.

Then it’s back to patrolling as usual.

Something is a bit off about this story and this thread.

First of all (nit pick):

The article says this is an appointed police chief, not an elected Sheriff.

Second of all, The FCC removed the requirement for agencies and individual officers from having a separate license for radar units if they have a license for radio communications.

Even if this agency is piggy backing off the county Sheriff for their radio and dispatch services they are required to have an FCC licenses for that.

Practically no agency that I know of has a specific license for their radar equipment because it falls under their radio license. If this agency has a specific license for their radar units then either they have no radio communications system (highly unlikely) or they are ignorant.

And if it’s their radio communication license that expired then they shouldn’t be using their squad/handheld radios either.

Just seems like there is a piece missing here. When I see our radio officer I’ll show him the story and see what he thinks. We work opposing shifts so rarely see each other so it might be a while.

I guess this is better than the story earlier this year from the same county, where a new police chief (of another miniature hyperlocal police department) ODed on evidence and died within a few months of his appointment.

The radio license used by the police department expired in 2013 and was never renewed. The village still holds a license for the fire department.

Both the police and fire departments now use the state radio system.

Usually when agencies “piggy back” on another agencies frequency (like when a small village uses the county Sheriff for radio and dispatcher services) they still have to get an FCC license to use that frequency even though the frequency is already licensed by the larger agency.

But it sounds like you are talking about MARCS, which is a digital trunked system. After reading a bit it looks like the FCC set up a “universal Licensing System” for MARCS. Possibly each agencies subscription cost includes a user license to use that system?
Very interesting.

Wonder if such a set up doesn’t cover radar units and when the town switched to MARCS they didn’t figure on that.

I think the speeding tickets should stand…and the police dept needs to pay the FCC’s $10k fine for each use and ownership of equipment without a license.

I’m sorry officers, ignorance of the law is no excuse.:rolleyes::stuck_out_tongue:

There are probably people who received a speeding ticket from this town a few years ago, paid it and are now paying a supplement on their car insurance premium as a result. I wonder if they can recover the excess payment?

Oh, it did. Similarly, some people still feel the need to capitalize ‘radar’ and ‘scuba,’ but it seems to be much less common for ‘sonar’ and ‘laser.’

This is odd. I read the article in the link again and see nothing about being newly elected (or appointed). I know I checked the article when I posted to make sure this was the action of a new person in the job. Now it’s gone.


Maybe they did.

The old chief was fired by the city council in May after the Mayor " filed 22 administrative charges against Hanzey, including falsifying time cards, stealing money and failing to ensure officers were up to date on their certifications." Those charges followed an investigation by another agency in response to the old chief accidentally discharging his weapon inside his home. One of his former officers described him frequently working from home out of uniform when he was on duty. Apparently watching TV was part of his duties as chief.

The new chief was hired and sworn in two months later, July 9th.Along the way the department had two of it’s other full time officers fired. The one full time officer mentioned upthread is the only guy left after the purge of 75% of the department.

Missing a reminder notice was the least of that department’s problems. The new chief is lucky the radar gun hadn’t been sold on ebay.

If they haven’t been serviced in 2 years, no wonder they aren’t going to try to enforce any outstanding tickets. It wouldn’t hold up in court without a current calibration certificate.