WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you're driving over the speed limit, a cop with a radar gun is the last thing you want to see. But thousands of tickets written by New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies are being called into question, because the officers were not certified on the radar guns they were using.
When the Sheriff's Office bought new radar equipment, it thought it was good to go, but apparently that was not the case. Kustom Signals sent the Sheriff's Office an upgraded version of the radars it already had. When the Sheriff's Office asked if deputies would have to be recertified for the new equipment, the company said not to worry.
"They told us that we wouldn't have to be recertified on the unit," Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Jerry Brewer. "But subsequently after that we find out from the state of North Carolina that they do in fact have to be recertified."
When it comes to catching speeders, law enforcement has a number of tools. Radar is just one.
"Officers use a multitude of techniques and experience to determine if someone is speeding or other influences on traffic patterns," Brewer said.
But can the tickets issued by an uncertified deputy using a radar stand up in a court of law?
"They can't necessarily have the ticket thrown out, but they have the possibility of having the radar reading thrown out; that the actual device would be admissible," attorney Ben Deaver said.
In order to get recertified, deputies had to take a four-hour course. The Sheriff's Office says the deputies have done that and are now certified to use the new radar.