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Less citations: Enforcement or City Revenue Issue

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by A6Gator, Sep 29, 2011.


    Most Memphis city workers and MPD took a 4.6% pay cut in July, additionally, a final vote in October will impact pension (new and workers with less than 10 yrs of service) and benefit reforms. Citations, in July, were 18,341 compared to 29,092 in July 2010. In August, 20,599 citations were issued, compared with 28,162 in August 2010.

    Turns out 1.8% of the city's budget comes from traffic fines, court costs and red-light-camera traffic tickets. So, the city council's response was to raise costs for citations and parking violations and raise court costs from $61 to $135 per incident.

    MPD Director told his department chiefs to watch out for a possible work slowdown.

    So, Memphis' citizens become more law-abiding and the city's response is to hammer them with bigger fines and court costs? Or is the city council learning that you get what you pay for...?
  2. ray9898


    May 29, 2001
    More law abiding? Doubtful. More than likely more discretion is being used by officers.

  3. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    I know around here when we got slapped with an 18% pay cut people stopped caring, even managers. Things that would have set managers off just a few months ago they don't even seem to notice them. I think the thought process from the chief on down is that if the city has signaled they consider the police department to be as important as librarians then why go out of our way to deliver more than the minimums requested?

    It could also be we have a chief who can BS the city counsel pretty good.
  4. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    The best thing any city can do with anticipated fine revenue is LEAVE IT THE HELL OUT OF THE BUDGET! Consider it found money at the end of the year, but pretend it doesn't exist until then. Our state increased fines (which ends up increasing fines for all local governments adopting similar ordinances) a year or two ago, and wouldn't you know it, cops aren't writing as many tickets! Who wants to pass out $127 seatbelt tickets that were five bucks less just a couple years ago?
  5. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    Yes, it is possible that people are committing fewer traffic violation. Due to the economic situation, people are driving fewer miles. People are staying home instead of getting involved in recreational activities.

    That's why crash related deaths are falling to record lows.

    Also, if they cut the police budget, there is likely less OT or special enforcement projects. Not to mention the officers probably have less time in their day to use for traffic enforcement.

    A lot fewer citations were issued, but a lot were still issued.
  6. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

    Jan 2, 2008
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Part of it may be a genuine consideration for people's situations. As an example, I am reluctant to issue citations costing upwards of $133 in a predominantly lower class, 14% unemployed community. So who cares if Joe Citizen was going 15 over, is that worth taking a big bite out of his weekly take home?

    Now, for multiple violations, repeat offenders, uninsured, suspended, etc., no mercy; but I have a hard time justifying the degree of spanking some of these poor schmo's get for a speeding ticket. Hell, our seat belt tickets, which I used to write all the time at $26 each, are now more expensive than a speeding cite.

    And I can't say how other jurisdictions do it, but if I write a guy here under city code, the city sees $13 of the $133 ticket. Under state code, they see nothing, or maybe a $2 service fee. So fines really aren't even a good way to boost revenue, unless you are in a municipality with a mayor's court.
  7. I have a hard time also justifying giving out tickets that could cost upwards of $150. Now, if was a really dangerous or stupid move, or the motorist is being a real jerk...
  8. Oh, and I'm convinced jacking up the penalties is done solely to increase revenue. Red Light cameras are a perfect example.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  9. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    Our court costs have increased to $182, plus the fine. A red light violation is now $232. A registration violation (expired tag) is now $207. Why in the world would I give someone a 232 speeding ticket, etc?

    Our court costs have gone up around $60 in the last 3 years. And yes, if you pay the ticket off, you still have to pay the court costs.
  10. +1. Just because the municipality is spending money like water, doesn't mean I'm going to penalize someone for making a mistake. Your failure to budget properly isn't going to change that.
  11. So admin is gonna beef officers who are reluctant to cite people why the economy is in the crapper, especially now that fines have massively jumped?

    What the hell happened to my country?!
  12. AngryBassets

    AngryBassets Jagenden Übel

  13. I can only agree with everyone else. I enjoy working traffic, but I hate writing tickets. Dinging the working man for a 1/4 or 1/2 his weekly salary does notihng to serve the casue of justice. No insurance and unrestrained children always get a ticket, however. Insurance tickets will be dropped when you produce proof. If you don't have enough sense to care for your child then "screw you, sign here..."
  14. rookie1


    Mar 3, 2009
    My favorite citation to issue is the MPH over speeding ticket. NO, I will NOT stop someone for 5 over, more like 15 over and write for 5. The fine is $87 and somewhat low as far as traffic violations are concerned. Depending on the person I feel that $87 or $187 they will get the idea.
  15. rookie1


    Mar 3, 2009

    My city is talking about the red light cameras. I DO not support them in any way shape or form. My city is extremely liberal so I hope they see through this and knock the idea down.