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County Executive Leopold and Chief of Police Conclude Speed Enforcement Evaluation

Annapolis (July 3, 2007) - County Executive John R. Leopold announced today that Police Department has concluded its evaluation of the speed enforcement policy that required officers to step out into traffic to signal or direct violators to pull over. The policy was temporarily suspended on June 22, 2007 following the death of Howard County Officer Scott Wheeler, who succumbed to injuries resulting from being struck by a vehicle while participating in a "Step Out" speed enforcement detail.

Effective immediately, the Anne Arundel County Police Department will resume stationary enforcement from outside the vehicle on roadways with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less but will not be permitted to step out into the roadway. Rather, uniformed officers wearing reflective safety vests will remain on the side of the roadway to direct motorists to the shoulder.

For roadways with a speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour, enforcement will be accomplished utilizing patrol vehicles.

"Stepping into traffic puts both the officer and motorist at risk," said County Executive Leopold. "Police Chief Teare and I agree that the men and women hired to safeguard our citizens must be allowed the same consideration to ensure the protection of everyone involved. Our traffic stop policy reflects my Administration’s concern for the safety of both the officer and the motorist."

"Traffic enforcement is a necessary, expected and important daily task of our officers to ensure conformance that all citizens are obeying the rules of the road," said Chief of Police James Teare. "This revised policy will enable officers to enforce traffic laws while exercising enhanced safety standards through the duration of the stop."

A reminder to County residents as they travel this Fourth of July holiday to allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed and that all passengers must buckle up including children who must be secured in age-appropriate safety seats.


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