Speeding citations cease in Midville

No one is accusing Midville of being a speed trap these days.

Not one speeding ticket has been written by the town’s police department in the past eight months, according to city records.

Less than three years ago, some 122 residents of the small town, which boasts a lone caution light, signed a petition stating that local police were op- erating a speed trap.

An investigation by the Georgia Department of Public Safety cleared the town after finding that only 22 percent of the police department’s budget came from speeding tickets. Forty percent constitutes a speed trap.

But, now, that number has dwindled to zero.

The last traffic citation was written just before Brian McDuffie resigned as chief in July 2007.

Current chief Byron Walker came on the job in November, but because he is not certified by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Council, he cannot write tickets.

Burke County Magistrate Court Chief Judge Curt St. Germaine said his office has not held court in Midville since September of last year.

City council voted two weeks ago to place Walker on administrative leave without pay until he earns his POST certification.

In the meantime, the town is being lightly patrolled by parttime officer Robert Baynham.

Baynham is POST certified as an officer but said he has not written a speeding ticket since he joined the Midville Police Department in 2005.

He said he needs a radar certification card from POST to operate radar but does not have one.

However, Azra Keeling, of POST’s records department, said Baynham has been radarcertified since November 2006.

Council member Sam Cummings said he would be sure to look into the issue.

Though there is not a fulltime police presence in Midville, Cummings said Burke County Sheriff’s deputies routinely patrol the city. He added the Wadley Police Department would be on call if needed.

By Anne Marie Kyzer, truecitizen.com

Georgia Speeding Ticket Points