by Lisa Tome
Giovanna Morini was stunned that a laser clocked her speed at 36 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone.
"I feel bad that I was speeding. It drives me crazy when people speed and I was doing it. And I have a baby," said Morini.
A trio of Perryville police officers, Tony Lenzi, Tommy Pierson, and Dale Hoffman set up shop on Frenchtown Road near the Norfolk Southern overpass to perform speed checks recently. The officers spent about two hours on Aiken Avenue checking speeds prior to moving to Frenchtown Road. They had a third location in mind for later that day. On Aiken Avenue, they stopped 15 vehicles, all of which were traveling at least 10 miles over the speed limit. They also issued a non traffic citation and a ticket to a driver who wasn't wearing a seat belt.
The three officers all had different jobs. Hoffman was operating a laser which could pick up speeds at up to 2,000 feet. Lenzi was waving drivers over. Pierson was providing education and was the chase officer in the event someone didn't stop. The officers were wearing body cameras.
"On Aiken Avenue most of them said 'Sorry. I'm running late. I work at the VA'," said Lenzi. "They were all polite and courteous. No one was argumentative."
Pierson agreed. "Everybody said that they are late for work, are in a hurry, and didn't realize they were speeding," said Pierson.
A part time Perryville resident, who also lives in Pennsylvania, received a warning after she was caught speeding. "I'm on my way to the dentist in West Chester. I'm glad to get a warning," she said.
All three officers said the goal for the speed checks was to make people aware of how fast they are driving. Their goal was not to write a lot of tickets, but to provide an education.
Hoffman said that a prior speed check point was Perryville Community Park. The speed limit there is 15 miles per hour. "It's hard to drive 15," said Hoffman.