The Internet is full of license plate covers that claim to be able to help drivers avoid getting a red light or speed camera ticket.
According to New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, one of his high-ranking officers, Capt. Michael Glasser, had this type of distortion device on his police cruiser. Serpas took away his car, and the matter is now under review by the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau.
“No police officer has the right to violate the rules and the law and police supervisors are especially responsible for insuring that the officers follow the rules,” said Serpas.
According to Louisiana law, license plates “shall be maintained free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible.”
Glasser’s attorney Frank Desalvo said license plate covers are not illegal.
“I think the state law says if your license plate has to be visible from 50 feet away,” said Desalvo. “I think these things affect the visibility from a certain angle.”
Glasser’s case is particularly thorny because of the unit he commands.
He is the integrity control officer for the Special Operations Division, which also includes highway enforcement, the department that reviews red-light tickets.
“This inquiry is going to get to the bottom of it and it would be terribly troubling to us if a captain who was also responsible for insuring integrity had in fact broken our rules,” said Serpas.
I have no idea if the product Glasser uses it technically illegal under Louisiana law, but it would be interesting to see how many motorists Glasser’s unit has fined for using similar techniques to obscure their license plates from red light cameras. Bonus points: Glasser is president of the New Orleans police union. More bonus points to his lawyer for putting up the “everybody else is doing it” defense.
[Serpasj] claims there are other police cars out there with illegal tint and improper license plates.
Think about that for a second. Glasser’s attorney is arguing that his client, a high-ranking cop, shouldn’t be disciplined for possibly violating the law because lots of other New Orleans cops also violate similar laws—laws that regular, non badge-wearing residents of New Orleans are expected to follow.
In related news, a Pennsylvania state liquor control officer was arrested over the weekend for DUI.