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Lions Club contributes to HPD speed monitoring

The Hastings Police Department is bucking up its technology in an effort to stop one of the city's biggest public safety problems: speeding.

The Hastings Lions Club donated funds for a new speed monitor trailer, which arrived Monday, that does more than just flash the speed of approaching vehicles to deter lead-footed drivers.

The 21st century equipment is similar to older model speed monitors that the department places along the side of busy streets. But the new monitor also has the ability to compile traffic data to do an analysis of traffic flow at different periods of the day, according to Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy.

"It's the top-of-the-line speed monitor trailer," he said.

McMenomy said the updated technology will help police tackle a citywide speeding problem by actually compiling statistics at various points in the city to find out where problem areas exist, as well as using the monitor as a deterrent.

The monitor doesn't currently have the capability to record video of speeders, but the department can instantly download traffic-flow information from the monitor trailer and view real-time traffic statistics.

Traffic safety concerns are probably the No. 1 phone call the department, the mayor and City Council receive from citizens, McMenomy said.

The new speed monitor trailer is worth $15,000 but cost the department nothing, because the local Lions Club was able to donate the proceeds to pay for the monitor upgrade.

"The Lions Club needs to be recognized and commended for their willingness to help the citizens of Hastings," McMenomy said.