° empty

Donation helps Vidalia police acquire radar systems

ROD GUAJARDO | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia City Court Judge George Murray, from left, hands Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland a $15,000 check for new dashboard mounted police radar systems. The court’s donation will be matched by another $15,000 from the police department to pay for the 10 new systems.
ROD GUAJARDO | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia City Court Judge George Murray, from left, hands Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis and Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland a $15,000 check for new dashboard mounted police radar systems. The court’s donation will be matched by another $15,000 from the police department to pay for the 10 new systems.

VIDALIA — Vidalia police officers will soon have a new tool to catch residents exceeding the speed limit.

Ten dashboard-mounted police radar systems will soon be ordered and installed in VPD patrol cars thanks to a generous donation by Vidalia City Judge George Murray.

Murray gave the police department a $15,000 check Thursday morning. Those funds will be matched by $15,000 from the police department, Chief Arthur Lewis said.

The court’s donation, Murray said, comes through funds from a pre-trial diversion program, which allows first-time, non-violent offenders in Louisiana to pay fines and participate in educational classes for a dismissal of the charge.

“Those are mostly speeding, running red lights or other traffic violations,” Murray said. “Hopefully, this will help with public safety in our city.

“If residents know more officers have the radars, maybe they won’t be as likely to speed.”

The 10 new radars, Lewis said, would be an addition to the five currently installed in other patrol units, as well as several handheld radars.

“Before, officers would have to share the units with the radars already in the cars,” Lewis said. “This is going to help us expand the tools we have available to help deter accidents in our city.”

In May, Lewis ordered a crackdown on traffic violations hoping it would curb the 75 traffic accidents that had occurred in the previous three months.

Since his officers began more strictly enforcing traffic laws, such as speed limits, red lights and stop signs, Lewis said accidents in Vidalia have decreased significantly.

“We’ve seen accidents go down to almost nothing and that’s what we’re most concerned with,” Lewis said. “We’re not a revenue generating department for the city, so our main goal is and always will be to protect and serve the citizens of Vidalia.”

 

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal

News

Judge dismisses former assistant principal’s lawsuit against school district

News

City receives Urban Youth Corps grant

News

Natchez police make arrest in weekend attack

News

Natchez tourism director’s car left in limbo without commission

News

News photos: Ferriday fire