WJZY Queens City News in Charlotte North Carolina recently broke a story alleging Charlotte NC law enforcement agencies may not have been following state law regarding the calibration of radar and laser equipment.
Subsequent to the news station filing a open records Freedom of Information Act request regarding the certification data on various agency’s radar and laser equipment, Mecklenburg PD is now preventing its officers from using the department’s speed detection equipment for the foreseeable future.
Mecklenburg city officials stated during a press conference that they would be shelving their radar and laser equipment until such time as it can be retested by qualified technicians with the proper credentials. Apparently the city’s police department has not followed state regulations regarding certification of the equipment for the last 15 years.
North Carolina State law requires the technician verifying the calibration and accuracy of this equipment to hold a FCC license. Queens City News reported all but one of the police department’s technicians do not have the state required FCC license. The one technician who did posses the required license states he advised the city about this problem last fall and he even filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Justice and the FCC about it. The complainant has since been fired from his job, last month.
Not only have non-licensed technicians been calibrating the police department’s speed detection equipment, but division supervisors at the department have been signing off on the improper testing and certification.
If the equipment has not been calibrated properly then any readings a law enforcement officer obtains may in fact be inaccurate. According to the complainant, the falsified certifications and potentially inaccurately tested radar and laser units total 170 over fifteen years.
One can only imagine how many tickets, fines, increased insurance premiums or criminal charges stem from the 170 speed detection apparatuses over a decade and a half.
There is currently no information available how one can get their speeding conviction overturned, or fine refunded.