Ringgold radar purchase

The city of Ringgold will purchase new radar equipment for Georgia State Patrol troopers to help combat speeding issues in construction zones along I-75 and Ga. 151. / Adam Cook

The city of Ringgold recently voted to purchase new radar equipment for the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) in order to help troopers better monitor speeds in town.

Lately, with road projects along Ga. 151 and I-75 in Ringgold, law enforcement officers have seen habitual speeding going on through construction zones.

“We have a 60-mph construction zone on I-75, and they’re (police) pulling vehicles over going between 90 and 115 mph,” City Manager Dan Wright said during the Sept. 24 City Council meeting. “This is in no way a fee-grabbing situation. This is about safety.”

GSP Trooper First Class Brian Dedmon made a presentation at the council’s work session prior to the meeting and explained how busy troopers have been in Ringgold, and how they could benefit from new radar equipment.

In August alone, troopers issued more than 650 citations in the city limits. That number was only a portion of the 1,800-plus that were issued in total by GSP, Ringgold PD, and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department.

“It tells you a little bit about the weight the troopers are carrying inside our city,” Wright said.

In his presentation, Dedmon requested four new DSR2X radars. The council ultimately voted to approve the purchase of two radars at a cost of $6,025, and then attempt to work the other two into next year’s budget.

Dedmon says the new radars are just like any other equipment upgrade, ever-evolving.

“The new equipment will be mounted in the patrol vehicle,” Dedmon said. “With technology today, the radars have upgrades from our older equipment — for example, an iPhone 4 compared to an iPhone 8. Just like the cell phone technology, improvements are made to speed detection devices such as Radar and Lidar (laser).”

Dedmon says Ringgold’s willingness to help goes a long way.

“With the new troopers that were just assigned to Dalton, this gives us an opportunity to put more speed detection units on the road,” Dedmon said. “Without the city of Ringgold’s help, we would have troopers on the road without the tools they need to enforce speeding violations.”

Dedmon added that the citations written by GSP go to the jurisdiction (county or city) that the violation is observed in, meaning that the municipalities receive the revenue from citations, not the GSP.

Ringgold Police Chief Dan Bilbrey says he appreciates GSP’s assistance in helping to combat the speeding issues in town.

“The GSP has been a big help, and they’re doing a great job,” Bilbrey said.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.