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Jacksonville man wants more patrols to keep people safe

7:39 AM, Mar 23, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Old habits are dying hard for a retired cop in West Jacksonville.

Michael Liptrap has 20 years of experience as both a state and military police officer. He retired in Jacksonville in the Ortega area.

One of his areas of specialty while he was on the job was traffic enforcement.

Liptrap wrote First Coast News concerned about a traffic issue in his neighborhood, specifically involving Seaboard Ave.

He said he constantly see drivers running stop lights and disobeying posted speed limits.

"I'm kind of the neighborhood watch because I sit there and watch the traffic all day long," he said.

First Coast News reporter Jacob Long used a radar gun to clock traffic at 118th & Seaboard, where it is 30 m.p.h.

In nearly no time at all, Long found many drivers pushing 50 m.p.h.

Some were apologetic, claiming they would slow down because they didn't know the limit.

Others zoomed passed Long or rolled their windows up in his face.

Liptrap said he worries it's only a matter of time before someone is hurt.

"I want to get this thing under control before somebody does get hurt or kid gets killed," he said.

Liptrap said traffic officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office came out and wrote several tickets upon his request once.

But he said he hasn't seen officers patrol the area regularly.

"I think because of cutbacks they're not paying as much attention to this," he said.

Liptrap is so desperate to address the issue; he wishes the department could enlist him for help.

"If there was a way John Rutherford could deputize me to work my neighborhood, I'd be happy to do it out of my own pocket," he said.

The problem, he believes, is the long stretches of road on Seaboard that doesn't require much stopping from drivers.

Liptrap said, "They (drivers) disregard the law. They disregard the signs because they think because everybody thinks it's for somebody else."

Long asked J.S.O. to respond to Liptrap's comments, but the department said it doesn't comment on its patrol tactics.

The department also told Long there have been no speeding citations written at the intersection in  the past year.

For people in the area who want help, you can contact J.S.O. at its zone four office by clicking here.

First Coast News

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