DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) –
Writing traffic tickets is an important role of law enforcement and often critical for public safety, but now there are allegations Detroit police officers are intentionally putting the brakes on the process.
Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh says he is concerned the cash-strapped city is losing tens of thousands of dollars a week in fines because a growing number of tickets are being dismissed, often because police officers are failing to show up in court.
Attorney Chris Kessel says it’s been an ongoing issue since the 12-hour shifts for officers started in mid September. Fox 2 has learned there are multiple issues impacting revenue including fewer officers being assigned to traffic enforcement, fewer tickets being written and fewer officers showing up to court when tickets are challenged, so they’re dismissed.
Officers tell us the 12-hour shifts have left them exhausted and the overtime incentive to come to court just isn’t what it once was and that’s on top of their ten percent pay cuts.
Just how much this is costing the city is not clear, but the Detroit Police Officer Association says it might be time to rethink those 12 hour shifts. Scott Pellerito of the DPOA Grievance Committee says, “it’s probably due to fatigue of working the twelve hours.”
It’s a real concern, not just for traffic ticket revenue, but for the safety of officers and citizens and certainly a quality of life issue for the men and women in blue.
Pugh is calling for an investigation and the Detroit City Council is expected to take up the issue on Monday.