DOWNLOADMendelson letter to Lanier; ATS memo (PDF format, 1.6 MB)

More trouble with ACS: This time, the company’s rival—-American Traffic Solutions, which is taking over traffic camera duties from ACS—-spotted major troubles with ACS’ speed cameras.

Yesterday, the Washington Post broke printed* the story that a lot of District drivers have been slowing down for nothing: more than two dozen of speed cameras are busted and inoperable. But the piece failed to go into very much detail. More can be found in a March 12 letter from At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson to acting Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Mendelson writes that, according to the company that services the cameras, “two of the 10 stationary radar units have been out of certification for over eight months…..at least 11 sites have been out of service for at least six months; and one of the cameras (purchased by the District) has an asset tag indicating ‘Property of Fairfax.'”

Mendelson’s wrath stems from a memo he received on March 11 from ATS. That memo goes on to report that 27 out of 50 cameras are inoperable, “cameras reported as operational are simply missing,” and a “number of camera sites have been stripped of equipment and exposed live electrical wires were left at the site.” And the memo snitches on ACS big time:

“Upon move out from the V Street facility, ACS physically severed all of the network cabling within the District’s facility….This resulted in the need for a complete rewiring of the facility and thousands of dollars of additional cost to the District.”

At least they didn’t do this.

ATS eventually had to call the police, the memo states: “ACS made repeated attempts to repossess District owned equipment during hand over to ATS. District police had to threaten to arrest ACS staff on several occasions to stop these attempts.”

Maybe the theft attempt was caught on one of the new crime cameras?

CORRECTION, 3/14: The Post actually didn’t break the story; WTOP’s Mark Segraves tells us he had the scoop the day before. Apologies to Mark. —-Ed.