Saturday, October 31, 2015

633rd SFS Airmen, Hampton police train to enhance JBLE

by Senior Airman Kayla Newman
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/28/2015 - JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.  -- Driving on a military installation isn't a privilege many receive, and until recently, if a civilian or military motorist waspulled over for a driving infraction, the ticket was taken to the violator's first sergeant for repercussions. Now, civilian ticketed motorists will have to answer to a federal magistrate.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 633rd Security Forces Squadron recently spent a week working side-by-side with the Hampton Police Division to obtain their Virginia state radar certification.

"This is significant for [SFS] because it's one of the duties of law enforcement," said Sgt. Pelham Felder, Hampton PD Homeland Security unit supervisor. "It gives them the training and experience so they can go out and be more efficient as far as traffic safety and enforcement."

During the 16-hour classroom portion of the certification, SFS personnel spent time learning Doppler Theory and principles before practical testing, where they became proficient at setting up and testing the radars.  Once it was time to apply what was taught, the Airmen could visually estimate the speed of a vehicle.

According to Senior Airman Sean Lennon, 633rd SFS Base Defense Operations Center controller, while SFS personnel have used radars in the past, they didn't have the Virginia State certification required to issue speeding tickets to civilian motorist.

"Now we have the authority to write speeding tickets to civilian personnel and actually have that individual appear in federal magistrate court, along with the ticketing officer," said Lennon. "For uniformed members, it's more of a base charge. Once they have a certain amount of points they can be denied base driving privileges."

With the radar certifications, SFS personnel and Hampton PD hope this will encourage drivers on the installation to slow down and abide by the traffic laws.

"Hopefully this causes people to slow down. I'm sure people see a lot of people speeding, especially when they are leaving base after work," said Lennon. "Hopefully they realize it's not the most important thing to get off base two minutes early."

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