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Police department gears up for the coming school year

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By Ada Lang

Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin reported this week the breakdown for both local and state citations, for the month of July. 

Local citations included: three for speeding, 14 for “Failure to pay launch pass,” 13 parking violations, five moving violations and three curfew violations (minors out after 11 p.m. without an adult).

State citations included: three for speeding, three for DUI, two for driving with suspended driver’s licenses, four non-moving violations and seven moving violations (running a stop sign, etc.). 

The difference in the two citations is the cost of the fines. State citations range from $128 to $278, compared to local citations that range from $50 to $100. Driving 30 miles or more over the speed limit also mandates a court appearance. 

However, Sandlin was adamant that a person will only receive one local warning – ever. If they are driving, for example, “50 in a 25, we won’t even be talking about it.” 

There will be absolutely no leniency during school zone hours and the fines range from a minimum of $153 to $453, depending upon the speed. 

“We will be enforcing crosswalk violations this year because of the money spent on roads and sidewalks. Students will be subject to citations for failure to use crosswalks at the school.” 

Sandlin acknowledges that the new roads are quieter and people tend to drive faster, however, he added, “While I know this seems petty, the City of Cedar Key has spent over $2 million to improve streets and sidewalks, the purpose of which is to increase safety.”

At the recent Police Department budget workshop, the commission commented that that the police were not being seen enforcing violations enough in the residential areas. As a result, Sandlin explained that he  “instructed my officers to increase patrol time in the neighborhoods. I also advised them to use local citations when possible, based on violation and attitude of violator.”