Ticket Quota Proposed For Funding New Tulsa Police Officers

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 10:01 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa city councilor wants more police officers hired, with their salaries supported by writing more traffic tickets.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says everyone has seen the cars that keep going well after the light turns yellow and those that consider the red light just a suggestion.

Tulsa Police say it's a serious problem and a Tulsa city councilor figures there's a way to solve it at no cost to the city. "And the figures I used assume the least expensive ticket." Councilor John Eagleton believes new police officers - with a mandate to write traffic tickets - would essentially pay their own salary. "I'm trying to reduce the number of cars that are totaled, the number of days that citizens spend in the hospital and the number of people that wind up in the morgue because of the reckless driving of others."

Here's how it adds up, one Tulsa Police officer writing 20 tickets with a $120 fine amounts to $2,400 per day. Over a year that's $576,000. It costs about $100,000 to field each officer so that's $476,000 leftover.

Eagleton believes these extra police officers could pay their own salary with the tickets they would write, but some of the drivers we talked with didn't think much of the idea.

"This isn't a joke is it, oh my goodness, this is craziness."

"I don't think they should set a quota for themselves but maybe it would make them more inclined to catch people who run through red lights."

The idea has a chance because several other councilors seemed to like it. It's first going to be studied to check all the math and see if more traffic enforcement would actually be self-supporting. That will take several months.