Captain Bill Henz decided that the award for "Officer of the Month" should go to an officer whose dedication to making sure that Marty's Scam-eras remain safe (and profitable), is unsurpassed. May's "Officer of the Month" following the directives from on high, cited 40 hardened driver's for... covering their behinds with the suddenly illegal license plate covers.
It wasn't rape, murder, or even armed robbery... covering license plates with covers that foil the red light Scam-eras and protect a drivers wallet. What's more, NO ONE seems to be able to point to a specific law ANYWHERE that makes these covers illegal. Yes... that includes the city's Code of Ordinances!
§ 8-6-4 LICENSE PLATES.Where in that language does the city ordinance 8-6-4 give authority to law enforcement to cite and/or confiscate offending plates? As long as your plate is "maintained free of dirt, emblems, trailer hitches, or any other obstruction so that the color, state of issuance, years and license number or letters thereon are clearly visible," you are not in violation of the city ordinance, period.
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to park or to operate a motor vehicle on a roadway unless there is attached to the rear thereof, a license plate for the current license year, unless the state of issuance requires two license plates, in which case such plate shall be affixed to the vehicle as provided by law of the state of issuance; such license plate or plates to be maintained free of dirt, emblems, trailer hitches, or any other obstruction so that the color, state of issuance, years and license number or letters thereon are clearly visible.
(B) No person shall display upon a vehicle any registration evidence, registration plate, or permit not issued for such vehicle or not otherwise lawfully issued.
(C) No person shall display upon a vehicle a license plate altered from its original markings.
('74 Code, § 9-5-20.4) (Ord. 65-1974; Am. Ord. 7-2003)
Our Eyes tell us that city attorneys are furiously making deals with those dastardly drivers who have been cited for the afore mentioned infraction, in order to keep the citation from going to court. The Eyes have it that the city will drop the charges if the accused agrees to remove the plate cover from their vehicle. Looks to us like the city would rather not have an independent judge make a ruling regarding the legality of the "enforcement" action.
APD Public Information Officer has maintained that the Scam-eras can see through such plate covering devices. Mayor Marty has assured us that the Scam-eras are all about public safety. In light of the determined effort to punish dastardly drivers for covering their @%$, we don't see how either could be true.
More importantly, don't Captain Henz, Chief Schultz, and the Almighty Marty, have better things to do... more important criminals to capture? We'd argue that license plate covers rank up there with j-walking as far as law enforcement priorities are concerned. Perhaps Captain Henz should consider tasking his officers with more important duties, as opposed to protecting Marty's sacred cash cow.