Skip to comments.Palm Beach police under investigation for writing too many traffic tickets
Posted on 06/06/2012 6:56:33 PM PDT by Brandonmark
From its long abandoned practice of ticketing shirtless joggers and issuing ID cards to gardeners, the rules in Palm Beach have always been different.
Now, in response to complaints from town residents who believe rules on the tony island should be different, police officers are being investigated and fired for writing too many traffic tickets.
Officer William Eaton, who has patrolled the town's ficus-lined streets for six years, was fired this week. Union leaders say two other officers face similar fates.
In a termination letter signed Tuesday, the town's director of public safety says Eaton's ticket-writing frenzy violated several department rules, including conduct unbecoming and using his position to intimidate the citizenry. His attorney views it differently.
"It was a clear and utter witch hunt," said attorney Elizabeth Parker, who said Eaton will fight to be reinstated.
She doesn't dispute that the number of traffic tickets Eaton wrote soared, going from 222 citations in 2011 to 115 in one month earlier this year.
However, she claims Eaton began writing more tickets when the town in January changed how raises are handed out. When they switched to a bonus system based on merit, instead of longevity, Eaton decided he needed to work harder to assure he would be among the top officers who received a possible $6,000 bonus.
Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin said Eaton's sudden and intense interest in traffic enforcement was more sinister. In the termination letter, he said it was retaliation for the contract changes and the town's decision to reduce police pension benefits.
He recalled a conversation he had with Eaton several years back when the pension changes were first proposed. "What are they going to do when we start writing them all tickets and arresting them for DUI?" Blouin recalled Eaton asking.
(Excerpt) Read more at palmbeachpost.com ...
Police today are essentially tax collectors, especially in the suburbs. Flame away if you want.
Looks like another case of public trough abuse!
I’m a cop. My beat is largely suburban. On my patrol team we have 6 officers to cover a roughly 32 square mile area ranging from urban core to ranch lands. Only this morning my Sgt. was mentioning that as a team, we write incredibly few tickets, and that is with three officers out of the six who just came out of Traffic Division. Me? I’ve written two (2) tickets since January. The city ain’t making any revenue off me. I’m too busy running from call for service to call for service to bother much with traffic stops.
That means your city is not inflicting excess man hours on it’s citizens.
Yeah, that was a brilliant idea - pay cops a bonus for inking a lot of tickets. Sure no thugcops would write fake ones. Nah. /making no comment on this cop
Prayers for your safety out there. It’s got to be a real @storm out there with the economy the way it is.
There should not be a financial motivation for tickets. Not for the government or police. Ticket money should got to random charities. Get the idea of tickets away from financial gain to correcting bad driving.