Update: Harlem Police Dept. offers ticket refunds, radar certification expired

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News 12 at 11 O'clock / Friday, December 20, 2013

HARLEM, GA (WRDW) -- It all boils down to a piece of equipment. The certification for Harlem's speed detection radars was not renewed. Now, it's leaving the city paying back thousands of dollars in speeding tickets.

"There are a lot of speeders out here," said Donna Cagle, who lives in the City of Harlem. "You can hear as they go by."

And it's enough to have Cagle wondering, with speed enforcement suspended, who's going to slow drivers down?

"There's nothing to make them want to slow down," she said.

Police Chief Gary Jones discovered a problem yesterday. He states, "The radar individual units had been expired since February the 7th of this year."

He says it's a mistake made during the previous police administration.

"It was not renewed and somebody dropped the ball," said Jones.

That means the 85 traffic citations handed out over a ten month period, technically are not official.

"We're going to refund those particular citations and we're also going to make sure it clears from their driving records also," said the police chief.

An early Christmas present for those speeders, but it could leave the city of Harlem with huge 25,000 dollar dent.

"Nowadays in anybody's budget, 25,000 is a significant." said Jones. "I know we certainly could have kept our mouth closed and move forward but it would not have been the right thing to do."

But even Cagle thinks, if you break the law, you should still get the punishment.

"They're speeding so you have the right to give them a ticket," she told News 12's Patrick Price.

But in the spirit of Christmas she knows, the city of Harlem is choosing to forgive and forget.

"This is a good town and I know they want to do the right thing," said Cagle.

Chief jones says after Christmas, those drivers will be notified and be getting the money back from those citations. Until then, he's suspended all speed radar enforcement until further notice.

Stay with News 12 for this developing story.

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HARLEM, GA (WRDW) -- The Harlem Police Department is offering refunds to anyone who received a speeding ticket since early Feb. 7, 2013.

They say while working to set up the annual radar calibration, Chief Gary Jones found their speed detection devices calibration certification with the Georgia Department of Public Safety expired in February, 2013.

The Department has now stopped all radar use and will be offering to refunds to people who were issued a speeding ticket during that time period.

Chef Jones, City Manager Jason Rizner, and Mayor Bobby Culpepper say they agreed offering full refunds was the only appropriate course of action.

Approximately 85 speeding tickets were issued during that period.

City officials say after Christmas all affected parties will be contacted directly through the mail, and will be offered a refund of al fines paid.

Anyone who thinks they may be impacted can also call the Police Department at (706) 556-6262.

Chief Jones is now working with the Georgia Department of Public Safety to resolve the issue.


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