St. Louis, MO -- A report conducted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posed the question, "What happens when municipalities have no financial incentive to write tickets?"
They found that the answer was quite simple; they don't write very many tickets.
Pulling someone over for not wearing their seat belt and extorting money from them serves no purpose other than to generate revenue for the state. Many police officers know that much of their job is to collect revenue. It's now apparent, that when given the option to conduct extortion or not, they will choose the latter.
Consider Madison County. In the Land of Lincoln, speeding and other traffic infractions are state violations. Municipalities get very little revenue from the tickets.
In 2013, police in Madison County wrote just 17 tickets per 100 residents, about half the rate of Missouri and about one-quarter of the rate of St. Louis County.
Consider Ferguson, population 21,111, which wrote 11,822 tickets last year. Or Creve Coeur, population 17,865, which wrote 14,382 tickets.
In Ferguson, traffic citations make up the second largest stream of revenue for the city. It's blatantly obvious that the citizens of Ferguson are little more than host to a parasitic revenue collection racket that poses as a "justice system."
Extorting people for victimless crimes to pay the $200,000 salaries of city officials is quite the opposite of "justice" and nothing close to "protecting and serving."
It's easy for the city officials to sit back from the safety of their plush offices and watch the revenue pour in while they send their badged grunts to extort the masses. However, many of these badged grunts hate doing it.
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The Free Thought Project spoke to a police officer, who wishes to remain anonymous. He explains the revenue collection scheme as follows:
It's easy to write tickets all day. Everyone speeds, and at night, everyone on the roads after 10:00 pm has probably been drinking. While there isn't an official quota system in place, if we don't pull people over and write tickets and make DUI arrests, we are essentially derelict in our duty. It sucks, none of us want to pull people over and write them a ticket, but we have to.
When cops write fewer tickets, they can devote their time to preventing and solving actual crimes. The police in Carbondale, Illinois took this approach.
Carbondale police have issued thousands fewer traffic citations and shifted their focus on neighborhood outreach instead.
The citizens of Carbondale are happy about this change, but the city officials who are losing their profits have turned to fear-mongering. Carbondale city-council woman, Jane Adams, admits that people don't like getting tickets but claims that it lets "bad guys slip through the cracks."
"There's a tremendous amount of speeding. We have lots of young people, and we have lots of people who come in and have outstanding warrants for very serious crimes," Adams tells WSLI News.
Carbondale thinks that its a win win to shakedown and extort the public. Creating criminals out of otherwise innocent people by forcing police to collect revenue can fill the city's coffers while simultaneously catching the occasional "bad guy."
This type of policing is great for Jane Adams, who sits back in her plush, taxpayer purchased office chair and barks orders to increase revenue so she can finally get that office view she's always dreamed of.
But for the rest of the population it's a police state.