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FWIW dept: Police Chief tickets neighboring Police Chief for hanging in the median and writing tickets...in his towns speed trap...ya gotta see this

 
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User ID: 31828
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10/15/2005 01:57 AM
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FWIW dept: Police Chief tickets neighboring Police Chief for hanging in the median and writing tickets...in his towns speed trap...ya gotta see this
link: This story can be found at:

[link to www.timesdispatch.com]

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La Crosse police chief beats traffic ticket
South Hill counterpart who wrote citation hints issue may linger
BY JAMIE C. RUFF
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Friday, October 14, 2005

RELATED: Police Beat

BOYDTON -- A ticket written by South Hill´s police chief citing his counterpart from adjoining La Crosse for improperly stopping on the highway was dismissed in court yesterday.

After a 90-minute trial, Mecklenburg County General District Judge Robert G. Woodson Jr. dismissed the charge, saying, "I just don´t think the evidence is here to prove that he violated the law."

On May 20, South Hill Police Chief Norman Hudson confronted La Crosse Chief R.L. Hahnke as Hahnke was monitoring traffic while parked in the median in one of the crossovers on U.S. 58. A summons was issued five days later.

Hudson said he was responding to complaints from motorists that having police vehicles parked in that area made it difficult for drivers to see as they crossed the road on their way to businesses on the other side. Hudson testified that he had asked La Crosse officers to move previously and they had done so but kept coming back.

The citation was the culmination of a long-simmering disagreement about traffic enforcement between the towns. Earlier in the year, South Hill Town Council members vented their frustration about traffic stops that were wrongly attributed to their police officers and stops that disrupted businesses, among other complaints.

La Crosse officials have made it no secret that their police department aggressively patrols the town´s stretch of U.S. 58, insisting that the officers keep the area safe by clamping down on speeders.

Hahnke had said he was parked on the line shared by the towns, but under questioning yesterday, he said he did not know whether he was across the line in South Hill or not. Attorneys for both sides said the matter was moot.

"The question is if he was blocking the highway," said Patrick Jensen, assistant commonwealth´s attorney for Martinsville, who was brought in as the special prosecutor.

Hahnke said that the slope of the area where he was parked allows drivers to clearly see around his car. A Virginia Department of Transportation supervisor testified yesterday that VDOT workers had installed gravel in the area at Hahnke´s request and that transportation officials had no problem with police cars parking there.

Several officials from La Crosse attended the trial, along with one South Hill council member and three of the town´s police officers.

Hahnke´s attorney, Lee Townsend of Emporia, said in his closing statement that state law allows law-enforcement officers to sit on the side of the road and in the median as long as they do not impede traffic or create a danger for other drivers.

"They have the right to sit on the median . . . behind a tree to catch someone speeding," he said. "They should have charged him with trespassing if they didn´t want him in their town."

Hahnke declined to comment after yesterday´s hearing. "It´s all past history now," he said.

Or is it?

Hudson said that there had been an effort to drop the charge, but he wanted the matter to go to the judge.

"We may as well . . . let the judge decide," he said. "I guess next time we´ll have to charge him with trespassing if he is back in South Hill."
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10/15/2005 01:59 AM
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Re: FWIW dept: Police Chief tickets neighboring Police Chief for hanging in the median and writing tickets...in his towns speed trap...ya gotta see this
the badges are certainly jealous not to mention overzealous...i would love to have been a fly in either cruiser that day i tell you...

...can you imagine the scene...may i see your license and proof of insurance and registration mr police chief...

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