Raleigh Police Chief Explains Decrease In Traffic Citations
Posted April 29, 2002 2:16 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued by Raleigh police officers.
Speeding tickets for January and February are down 37 percent from last year and a new report shows March violations are down 33 percent from last year.
Why is this happening?
Chief Jane Perlov said Raleigh residents are complaining more about speeders in their neighborhoods than on big, busy streets.
While officers still monitor big streets, they also do more work in neighborhoods, where they write fewer tickets.
"Our department is very responsive to citizen complaints," Perlov said. "You're not going to end up with the same number of citations as if you sat up on Capital Boulevard shooting radar."
While traffic citations are down, Perlov said that criminal arrests are up 14 percent from last year.
"I think if you create an atmosphere that's uncomfortable for criminals and comfortable for citizens, then you're not going to see the big stuff happen," Perlov said.
Would Perlov rather see her officers pulling over speeders or someone breaking into a home?
"I would say the real burglaries are the most important thing," she said.
Perlov said the policing of downtown is important, too.
"I want to know why people are loitering at the bus station or drinking on the street," she said.
The department has assigned a group of officers to foot and bike patrols downtown. Last year, those officers patrolled downtown Raleigh in cars, sometimes writing traffic tickets.
"I think our officers are doing a good job, they're striking a balance and I think that's very important," Perlov said. "We go where crimes happen, the quality of life violations are occuring. That's how we do enforcement."