Here's a fun application for plastics. The city of Smyrna, Tenn., has commissioned a life-size, corrugated plastic cutout of a police officer holding a radar gun. As the story says, the city puts the cutout in high-traffic areas, hoping it will deter speeders. The cutout is a replica of a real person, Sgt. Andy Miller, head of Smyrna's traffic enforcement division. But the idea for the phony cop came from Jim Gammon, owner of a local sign company, who donated the sign. Is it working? City officials think so -- in fact, they're having another cutout made this week. But columnist Clay Carey of the Tennessean newspaper, who wrote the story, reports that although the dummy catches motorists' attention, they don't necessarily slow down.
Wednesday, the cutout drew its share of points, stares and laughs from drivers passing by. Unfortunately, some motorists failed to slow down. Miller and another officer were running radar behind the decoy and dished out several citations. "I think it's neat. If it helps, it's great," Smyrna resident Norma Stuteville said. Stuteville and her son were driving down Front Street Wednesday when they caught their first glimpse of Miller's cutout, or, as Stuteville called it, "the little cardboard cop." She admitted that seeing it made her pump her breaks. "He kind of caught us by surprise," she laughed. "It definitely caught our eye."Have any more ideas for life-size, corrugated plastic cutouts? How about one to watch your office lunchroom, to make sure whoever takes the last cup of coffee makes a new pot? Or in the parking lot, to guard any assigned spaces?