Dear editor,

In response to the Palmyra Police Department and the officers here being referred to by some media outlets and attorneys, I would to clarify a few things and state some facts.

First, I would like someone to define to me what a “Speed Trap actually is?  If a “Speed Trap” is an enforcement tool used by police officers in areas where the speed limit is clearly marked and where officers are sitting, in plain view of motorists, on or near the roadway where traffic violations routinely occur, I would beg to differ this is not, by my definition of any kind of trap.  This is simply officers assigned to high traffic areas to enforce violations committed by the motoring public.

 Is a “speed trap” defined when a police officer is running radar on a segment of highway in an attempt to prevent the motoring public from excessively exceeding the well posted speed limit, protecting the residents of Palmyra in which at least 75 percent of the residents travel each day? 

 Or, maybe it is the officers patrolling the highways for excessive speeding and other moving violations to hopefully prevent the death of a motorists due to a motor vehicle crash? 

This “Speed Trap” area in question is the same location where five people have lost their lives in the past 15 years, in part to motorists committing traffic violations related to speed and failure to yield.   I’m sure the families of these individuals who were killed really wished there was a way for a violator to be “trapped” before their loved one was killed.

Last year alone in Missouri 870 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on our roadways.  Speed is one of the major contributing factors in these fatalities and disabling injuries.  From 2012-2014 speed attributed to a total of 898 fatalities and 4,406 serious injuries.

As the Chief of Police for the City of Palmyra I was hired to do a job, part of my job is to safeguard the public by directing our officers to enforce moving traffic violations committed by the motoring public.  Traffic enforcement is an integral part of any police officer’s duties, for reasons the general public has no concept or understanding.

Furthermore it is very upsetting and disappointing to me to be accused of trapping people who are clearly violating the traffic laws, risking the lives of innocent people and themselves. 

 I long for the day when people will take responsibility for their own actions or better yet don’t blatantly break the law.  If anyone has any better ideas how to save lives and prevent fatal and serious injury traffic crashes, please share your ideas, I will listen.

Chief Eddie Bogue

Palmyra Police Department