Soddy-Daisy chief: Cameralike arrays red-light triggers

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Devices perched over a major intersection are traffic sensors and not camera, the chief of police says.

Devices perched over a major intersection are traffic sensors and not cameras, the chief of police says.

By David Tulis

Two arrays of devices that look like cameras in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., are not cameras and not used for surveillance, says the town’s police chief, Phil Hamrick.

In two messages via Facebook about quad arrays of downward pointing cameralike devices, Mr. Hamrick says the following:

The only ones I can think of are triggers for the red lights but they aren’t cameras. They don’t take pictures they just activate the lights in place of the magnetic strips. I will go up there right now and see if it is something different. I will get back with you. I do not support camera enforcement of red lights or speed cameras.

Later he says,

Just drove by they are the red light triggers. They have been up since the new traffic signals went up a year or two ago. They don’t take pictures or video. They in no way can be used by us for law enforcement purposes. It would be useful to have cameras at major intersections to determine causes of accidents but these don’t even do that. As I said earlier, I would not support the use of cameras with the purpose of catching someone speeding or running red lights.

This skycam view from Google shows the two intersections in Soddy-Daisy surveyed by traffic censors. They are the ones at top left, and bottom right.

This skycam view from Google shows the two intersections in Soddy-Daisy surveyed by traffic censors. They are the ones at top left, and bottom right.

Cops defend selves online

Last week Chief Hamrick and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department officer Mark Kimsey popped up online. Mr. Hamrick “friended” me on Facebook, prompting me to ask about the surveillance devices.

Within a day or two of his appearance Mr. Kimsey began posting comments and photos whose effect is to counter the intensifying drop in stock of police, the state, civil government and the federal power in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kimsey has taken an interest in some of the work I’ve done on this website, particularly that touching on the lost liberty of travel by car, converted into a privilege to drive a motor vehicle in commerce. In response to an interview with Soddy-Daisy city court judge Marty Lasley, he praises the perspicacity of the judge’s distinctions between civil and criminal law in the context of a motor vehicle prosecution. My favorable treatment of a traveler he identified as a “sovereign individual” drew a harsh rebuke.

Here is a sample of the sort of pro-policing material posted by Mr. Kimsey:
Officer shot llinkKimsey post 1Kimsey on FacebookKimsey postingMeme from Mark

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