Governor Cuomo announced Monday, New York state will invest more than $300,000 to provide 235 police departments with new radar equipment. It’s all a part of an initiative to crack down on speeding and make our roadways safer.
“Speeding is a major contributing factor in accidents no matter where you are, whether you are in a city, town, village, or what county you are in,” West Elmira Police Chief Peter Michalko said.
In small departments like West Elmira, the state money would not only provide more equipment, but also help maintain what they already have.
“There’s a lot of small departments like mine…to maintain the radars, we send them in every six months to have them certified and currently our department pays for that where as if there was grant money I would surely seek the grant money to pay for that. Any grant money that’s available, everybody’s trying to get a hold of it with the budgets being cut and we’re being told to do more with less so every little bit helps,” Michalko said.
While smaller departments say the new radar would be a big help, the Chemung County Sheriff says they have bigger issues to deal with.
“With the interstate going through the middle of the county it’s always important, there are a lot of people speeding, but you know what…we have heroin, meth, we have the Arnot Mall and Consumer Square, so there are a lot of issues out there to deal with,” Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss said.
Moss sees the Governor’s investment in new radar equipment as nothing but a money maker for the state.
“It’s kind of a double edged sword, I mean they are good pieces of equipment, but on the other hand the state gives out $350,000 worth of radar knowing that they’re going to recoup revenue from speeding tickets 10 times that much, so to me it’s a publicity stunt by the governor,” Moss said.
According to a release sent yesterday by the Governor’s office, this is the first time in nearly two decades that the state has provided funding for new speed enforcement equipment.