“Officer Huff” Keeping Speeders in Check in Lee’s Summit
LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — The newest member of the Lee’s Summit Police Department doesn’t get paid and doesn’t write tickets, but officers say that “she” is doing a great job of keeping drivers from speeding.
“She”, in this case, is a mannequin, and her name is Officer Huff.
According to the LSPD, Officer Huff was used for officer training during safety classes, but now she’s making drivers put on the brakes. For several hours each day, she sits in a police cruiser along U.S. 50 or other high-risk areas, keeping drivers on their toes and off the gas.
“We can put the car out there for four to six hours, get that desired slowdown effect in our high accident areas,” said Sgt. Chris DePue of the LSPD. “Additionally, about every third day, go out there and write real tickets and put a real officer out there to write tickets to measure the effectiveness of how the decoys worked.”
Sgt. DePue says that during tough economic times when their department is trying to do more with less, the decoy is the perfect solution. There’s no added expense for a real officer, and the cruiser is already in use by the department.
The department says they copied the idea from other departments across the nation, but they are the only local department that uses decoys. They say that the key to keeping the decoy effective is to never announce where she’ll be, and never keep her in one place too long.