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LAPD pushes for exemption of Ariz. boycott

June 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The LAPD is pushing for an exemption of the city's boycott of Arizona when it comes to a contract with a company that operates L.A.'s red-light cameras.The issue was on the council's agenda for Tuesday, but they decided to postpone discussion until Wednesday.

The council has to decide whether to continue doing business with American Traffic Solutions, based in Scottsdale, or honor its pledge to boycott Arizona.

The company operates red-light cameras at 32 L.A. intersections, but the city's contract with American Traffic Solutions expires at the end of June.

The LAPD urges the city council to continue doing business with the company, saying the equipment has reduced the number of accidents and fatalities.

Councilmember Dennis Zine said while the city council does not want to go back on its boycott, it also does not want to counter the police department.

"In this particular situation, we don't really have many options," he said.

Ending service with American Traffic Solutions could result in traffic delays while crews remove the cameras, or it could take up to 10 months to hire a new contractor and reinstall the equipment. This may cost the city over $1 million.

Zine said there are three companies that offer the red-light-camera service - two are based in Arizona, and the third is based in Texas.

The councilman said he believes the city will make an exemption and renew the contract.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been one of the most vocal supporters of the city's boycott of Arizona, but he said he's willing to make an exception.

The city council will vote on the issue on Wednesday.