Grantsville Mayor Replies To Speed Trap Letters

(05/14/2002)

I too have read with some interest the recently published letters regarding the Town of Grantsville's police dept., its rights and duties, and the possible implementation of city court. Firstly, let me say that no statute exists nor is it necessary to grant the city police the right to issue citations on state highways; they have that right without one.

Has everyone heard of eminent domain? If the system were to disallow the issuance of tickets by the city police on state highways, then it only stands to reason that the sheriff would be able to write tickets only on county roads and the state police would be denied the right to citations on all federal highways. Allow levels of government should mirror the the others as much as possible. Who would expect the town to allow people to come roaring through at any rate of speed they desired just because they were running on a state highway......kind of a ridiculous situation wouldn't you think? "Hey, Melvin, you can give 'er hell right through town so long as you stay on state Route 5 or 16 !"

Many people like to question the qualifications of city police. The fact is that all city police are required to be state certified; this certification can only be obtained via attendance of the WV State Police Academy. A city police candidate must meet as stringent requirements for entry into the police academy as do the state police. They will undergo as intense and involved training program, albeit somewhat shorter, as do other police agency candidates. Actually, often times city police officers are more formally trained and certified, as is the case in our own county, than are county sheriffs and some of their deputies.

Yes, the suggestion to set up speed traps for financial gain is unnecessary. Regarding the implementation of city court, I established that months ago, have served as its judge and have levied a number of fines for violations committed within the city limits, on or off state highways. We will continue to do so, not for financial gain, which has never been the purpose or intent of our court, but rather for safety and enhanced quality of life within the town limits.

Gary Knight, Mayor, Grantsville, WV