"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Lynnwood loves its traffic cams

The city of Lynnwood loves its traffic cams. That does not seem up for debate, though the reason for all that love may be.

Its officials say the red-light and school-zone cameras (which at least seem more defensible than the speed cams) are all about public safety. Or, they did. The Everett Herald made a public records request for e-mails relating to the cams, and the story now seems to be changing.

From a news article on this: “In Lynnwood, a deputy chief earlier this year asked ATS about job prospects, even as she opened negotiations with the company about renewing Lynnwood’s multimillion-dollar camera contract, which expires in November. Separately, the sergeant who leads Lynnwood’s traffic division offered the Scottsdale, Ariz., company help with marketing cameras to other cities and with lobbying against legislation that would have reduced revenue from camera tickets in Washington.”

From one of the e-mails, from a city police sergeant: “the City of Lynnwood itself and the Lynnwood Police Department must also do everything we can to ensure this program continues unhindered. Any negative change to the program means more layoffs and program cuts.” In other words, we’re depending on these cams to save our jobs.

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