Arkansas city banned from issuing speeding tickets after writing too many

It sounds like every lead-footed driver’s fever dream. The small town of Menifee, Arkansas, has been banned from writing speeding tickets for the next year simply for being a speed trap, reports THV 11. The small town, which has a population of 274, has broken Arkansas’ anti-speeding laws that prohibit more than 30% of a town’s revenue from coming from traffic tickets. In Menifee, an audit found that traffic fines accounted for more than half of the city’s revenue.

“Obviously they were writing a lot more tickets than other communities of a similar size,” 15th District Attorney Tom Tatum said. THV 11. Tatum worked on the audit of the city’s finances, which found the city collected more than $120,000 in traffic fines in 2020 alone.

As with any good small-town mess, fingers are on fire over who is to blame. Menifee Mayor Gary Green blames Menifee Police Chief John Randall for the snafu, as Randall led the police force who wrote all those tickets.

“When I hired him, I said, ‘We can’t write tickets for 10 miles and under,'” Green said. THV 11. “But still, these guys [were] write tickets for 10 miles and less.”

“Because to me, he’s incompetent,” Green continued.

Randall disagrees with Mayor Green’s characterization, saying THV 11“The only reason I could see he has harsh words for me is because I enforce the laws in Menifee.”

Randall says the audit didn’t take into account pre-2020 fines that weren’t paid in full until 2020. Judges had instituted payment plans, and Randall says a portion of the revenue additional contributions were not from the audit year.

Menifee City Alderman Derrick Hammond confirmed that part of Randall’s job is to search for outstanding traffic tickets, and he apparently did well. “Chief Randall has received clearance from the mayor and city council to tackle overdue and unpaid tickets,” Hammond said. THV 11. “The tickets were written by agents who no longer work for the city.”

Still, the stats don’t lie about the status of Menifee’s radar. THV 11 acquired the entire record of tickets written by the Menifee Police Department between January 1, 2018 and August 24, 2022. No warnings were given by Menifee Police during this time, despite Randall’s claims that which THV 11 that he encouraged officers to make more use of warnings. An officer alone wrote 771 traffic citations, though that’s a bit of an outlier, considering the highest number of citations written by an officer was 263.

Other law enforcement officials across the country are also troubled.

“It is disheartening to hear, when so many communities lack faith in law enforcement, that some police departments are still funding municipal operations in the name of public safety by collecting fines and fees. plot of a bad ’70s movie, Speed ​​”Trap City is apparently still a thing in America. With speed enforcement now outlawed in Menifee, the result is counterintuitive to the original purpose – public safety,” said Police Chief John Sherwin in Faribault, Minnesota. The reader.

Unfortunately for those of us looking for a lawless utopia where we can speed as we please, the laws still apply in Menifee, even though the Menifee police cannot write tickets when you break them. While Menifee Police won’t wait to hand out fines for barely exceeding the speed limit, other law enforcement agencies can still issue fines for offenses in Menifee. The ban on the Menifee Police Department from writing traffic tickets also only lasts for a year, so be careful anyway. God knows there are still plenty of other speed cameras out there waiting for your money.

Jeff Stobbs contributed to this report.

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