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Cops Caught Issuing Tickets As a Contest
By Associated Press


February 27, 2004, 4:36 PM EST


PORTERDALE, Ga. -- A contest between two police officers in a small Georgia town to see which one could issue the most traffic tickets was stopped by a judge who overheard the apparent winner talking about it, the mayor said.


Part-time Porterdale police officers Erin Cox and Frank Jackson wrote about 150 tickets in January, which was significantly higher than in previous months, Mayor Paul Oeland said.


Some tickets were for minor offenses including not reporting an address change to the state or having defective equipment on a vehicle, it was first reported in The Covington News.


The contest was revealed when City Court Judge C. David Strickland overheard the officers talking about it recently. Oeland said "Jackson indicated he had won the contest."


"I think it was sort of bragging rights," said Oeland, a lawyer. "They would make a traffic stop for a legitimate reason and then try to find anything else they could possibly write a ticket for."


The mayor added: "It is not anything that we as a city support."


Both officers were asked to resign by Friday by City Manager Tom Fox, Oeland said. They have been with the department less than a year, he said.


Neither could be reached Friday. There was no answer at the police department.
 

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"I think it was sort of bragging rights," said Oeland, a lawyer. "They would make a traffic stop for a legitimate reason and then try to find anything else they could possibly write a ticket for."

The mayor added: "It is not anything that we as a city support."


It's not pathetic, its creative revenue. The Mayor may not "support it", but he loved the extra $$$$$$$ in his budget :wink:

And unless there is a law in GA for writing too many tickets, Jackson's only fault was being a Dumbass in front of a Judge.
 

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masstroopers1 said:
"I think it was sort of bragging rights," said Oeland, a lawyer. "They would make a traffic stop for a legitimate reason and then try to find anything else they could possibly write a ticket for."

The mayor added: "It is not anything that we as a city support."

Both officers were asked to resign by Friday by City Manager Tom Fox, Oeland said. They have been with the department less than a year, he said.
So let me get this straight - they made traffic stops for legitimate reasons, they then made observations of other citable offenses, and they issued citations for those violations.

Well, duh, isn't that what cops do? So some of the offenses were "minor", like defective equipment or fail to record an address change. Well if these infractions are too trivial to worry about, go to your legislature and get the laws off the books. Bottom line, it's still an offense and don't blame the cop who writes for it. Those that call it a chickenshit stop are usually those vacuuming the donut crumbs off their well stretched shirts.

How many of us have looked at monthly stats and given someone a nudge because we got more arrests than them, or wrote more V's? Is that bad? Is it a CONTEST which should cost us our jobs, or is it just going out and doing what we get paid for without being a mindless automaton?

Nowhere does it say that they made up stops or falsified any documentation - these were all good stops. I wonder how may of these stops resulted in the discovery of other, more serious offenses like stolen cars, warrants, narcotics, weapons...as we all know, everythings starts with the traffic stop.

What I see is two new guys on the department going out and working hard. If they want to have a "contest" between themselves maybe it's poor judgement but if they're not breaking any laws or rules and it results in higher productivity, then where's the foul? Why are they being asked for resignations instead of being asked to exercise more discretion? What ISN'T the press saying here? Just another way that the administration rewards those who do less.

I suppose if they had a contest to see who could arrest more drug dealers or drunk drivers the mayor would say he doesn't support that?
I second this motion! Now police officers are told by activist judges not to do our jobs. Its like the illegal alien laws "yes officer we know its against the law to be an illegal alien but you violated his/her rights when you arrested him/her for violating said law. Officer pay the plaintiff 1 million dollars for his/her pain and suffering. Sorry didnt mean to get of the subject but I think most get my point.
 

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I think it was a useful way for those 2 Officers to motivate each other. Were they idiots for braggin about it? yes. But they sure increased their activity didn't they? And like Mortal Knight said, I'm sure the mayor enjoyed the increased revenue. If it was such a problem, shouldn't they have detected it before by the Officers increased stats?

"Golly, we's been see'n a whole buncha more cy-a-tations these days. We be needin' the money to fix that there pick-up truck at the highway department. Gotta love them youngin' PO-leese Offica's they sure know how to write 'em... Oh your honor?! I had's me no ideas this was a happening, and I don't support it. No sirree."
 

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This crap goes on everywhere. MT1 can confirm, but I have heard of Clerks and Judges in Springfield complaining that cops are writing people for "minor stuff" and "minor equipment violations"...It's as if they are de facto legislators, deciding which laws they like and don't like. It's one thing if they rule a law unconstitutional, that's their job. For a clerk to say cops have "nothing better to do", he needs an attitude adjustment. My attitude is, just write them AGAIN. If the Clerk wants to toss the loud exhaust, neon lighted, lowered sh*tbox ticket, then let him. I just write it again, and I couldn't care less. It's still illegal, whether or not a Judge wants to uphold it or not isn't my problem. I have seen Judges have people admit to speeding/other infractions and the Judge still "cuts them a break" for no particular reason, without even seeing their KQ. Maybe the Clerk wouldn't like it if one of these loud, obnoxious UFO freakmobiles with the cannon exhaust was driving up and down his street every night. I know I have heard it from numerous "joe citizen" types who HATE these cars. On a side note, maybe everyone should tune into the new MTV show "Pimp My Ride", where MTV turns people's cars into a freakmobile. I am not kiding, look it up. I imagine once this hits the air, we will be seeing even more of these rolling nightmares.
 
G

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Halleluah!
I'm glad to be out here in the Berkshires! And tell that city manager who want these cops to resign to go first!
:shock:
 

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We have stats listed monthly. There is no contest or quota except the occasional nudge from a fellow brother or sister razzing you once and a while about the amount you wrote or lack there of.

Regarding the tickets getting tossed, the department can always appeal the magistrates reduced/thrown out ticket. Not that it's done often if at all but there has been talk of it recently. We are citing for 15 to 20 over and they are getting tossed out mainly because the magistrates think that some of the locations are "speed traps" if that's the case then why doesn't the state change the limit in these areas. Some of the brass on the dept. is getting upset that guys are out there getting writers cramp busting these speeders only to have them tossed.

The other laws that some magistrates think are petty or nit picking (defective equipment etc...) are there for a reason. At once I was told that filling up the cite with infractions would give the magistrate some bargaining room come appeals time. Now I am hearing that I should cite for one infraction and list any others on the back of the cite so the magistrate can say "well the officer already gave you a break on this, this and that.

Any opinions?
 

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Greenfield! At least McGwan (sp) is gone! There was a long-hair clerk with a bad comb-over there...is he still around?
 

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I'm glad to see all the support for these officers. I was in a similar situation where another officer and I were accused of the same thing. The dispatcher was upset because we were making her work and complained to the Sgt. that we were on a "spree" to stop and cite everything we could. Sad thing is, the Chief and Sgt's believed her and ran with the complaint and actually attempted to have me terminated because of it. Luckily the selectmen can add and divide. The chief stated that I didn't use good discretion when I issued 240 citations in a period of over three months. That equated out to 3.6 citations per shift. (wow what a natzi!). In reality I was motivating my co-workers to do police work, after all, isn't that what we were hired to do? :85565:
 

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I tend to agree with Gil, fill up the V, and let the magistrate throw one or two of the charges out to make the perp feel good, then let them pay the larger balance of it. Its just like when I arrest/summons someone....I fill up the complaint and give the DA some room to bargain.
 

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Thats a typical response from a poitician, the mayor was probably the one who wanted them to write more tickets. But, when the news comes out about the "contest" he does a "Flip-Flop" and says he's against it. 2 cops who make legitimate stops for legitamate infractions, just trying to motivate themselves.
 
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