Richland Police have tackled an elephant in the room on this one.
RPD responds to age-old claim cops write tickets to raise local revenue
According to their Facebook page, Richland Police have noticed, and are now responding, to claims made by some readers-followers that law enforcement writes tickets to raise money; some even claim there are ticket 'quotas.'
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To the claims that local police departments get all the money from tickerts, here's the breakdown from RPD:
(based upon a typical $136 moving violation):
"$48 of your ticket is the “base penalty” which gets divided three ways:
• $23 is used to fund the Judicial Information System (JIS), the primary information system for courts in Washington State.
• The remaining $25 is split between the state, getting $8, and the local government (not the police department) getting $17.
• The $17 gets further divided into the general fund and a crime victims fund."
The rest of the money, says RPD goes to the following entities:
"• State general fund,
• Auto theft prevention,
• Emergency medical services and trauma care,
• Legislative assessment,
• Traumatic brain injury fund"
So, what is the primary reason for writing tickets for driving citations: According to Richland Police, it's pretty simple:
"RPD’s motivation to issue tickets for moving violations is because tickets have been shown to impact driver behavior and this, ultimately, affects public safety."
Can't argue that one, really. How many times have you (and we have too) been pulled over for an infraction that was not uber serious, but enough to warrant getting lit up? We breathe a sigh of relief when an officer lets us off with a warning, don't we?
And if we get a ticket, we driver uber-cautious, at least for a few days, don't we? Hmmm...
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