OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — In Opelousas, new handheld speeding cameras for the police department will soon be making traffic stops much easier.
Graig LeBlanc, Opelousas Police Chief, “It’s not like the cameras that Lafayette had; they don’t sit on a pole. This is an officer monitored device that the officer will be trained to use.”
LeBlanc said the department started looking into these cameras when trying to find ways to reduce the time spent on traffic stops.
With these handheld radar cameras, officers are able to spot a vehicle driving over the limit, take a picture of the car’s licence plate, then find the drivers information on a tablet connected to the camera.
Using this method, officers will never have to turn on their lights and pull the driver over or stop traffic.
“Instead of going to stop that particular violator that citation will be mailed to the persons house, so it’s contactless,” LeBlanc said. “Reducing the amount of time spent on a traffic stop and the safety of the individuals driving, not having to stop in traffic and be on the side of the road.”
With officers currently being trained on how to operate the cameras, LeBlanc said the most important part to him is having the human element instead of a strictly automated approach.
“The big selling part for me is that you still have the officer involved as the witness to the violation, unlike the cameras that sit on a pole,” LeBlanc said. “The officer will still have to be available to witness the violation and instruct the machine to take a picture of the violators vehicle information.”
LeBlanc said the greatest benefit to these cameras is it will reduce the amount of time officers spend on traffic citations, giving them more opportunity to patrol city streets and neighborhoods. The plan is to have the cameras inside of officer units next week.