Letter: Increase in ticketing still unexplained
Aug 09, 2012 | 1795 views | 12 12 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

EDITOR,

Capt. Matt Olsen’s letter addressing the comments of Nick Clifford on Highway Patrol activity in Felton (“Good reason for CHP officers in Felton,” Page 6, July 27) did not answer some fundamental questions. Everyone I have talked with agrees that there is a noticeable increase in patrol vehicles parked on the side of the road or operating speed traps. Capt. Olsen’s explanation that the CHP does not have ticketing quotas and little benefit from the $300 tickets they write may be true. But he fails to explain the increased presence of officers who appear to be waiting and watching. I would like to accept the captain’s assurance that CHP officers have only safety in mind and “write citations because it is their duty — and desire — to prevent death, injury and property damage.” But that does not explain the increased activity, and is a little like saying, “Hi, we're from the government to help.” Is it a coincidence that increased ticketing comes alongside city and county government’s recent decreasing income? Did the CHP just discover ticketing as a method of prevention in the last three years? I have yet to speak with anyone that does not suspect the traffic enforcement is a revenue-raising campaign, at least in part. The fines are set by the local cities and counties, not the state. I have considered that increased ticketing comes down from politicians exerting some influence on the department. For this reason, my son and I are in the habit of referring to the black and whites as “revenuers” when we see them waiting on the side of the road or snagging motorists at the Bear Creek Road speed trap. This is the danger: that local law enforcement will be referred to as “revenuers” by the public at large, rather than public safety officers they have been.

David Smith, Mount Hermon

Comments
(12)
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Phil 2
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December 29, 2012
As Nick pointed out, to anyone who travels outside of the Bay Area or who has travelled to Europe, it's hard not to notice the immense police presence. Clearly this is about revenue generation, billions are raised every year.

But what is more significant however is that many residents actually welcome and like living in this defacto police environment.
Facinating
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September 24, 2012
.. and here I thought all those people racing through the valley were a random mix of tourist, thrill seekers and locals. I never realized they were all "Boulder Creekians".

Learn something new everyday.

OMG.....
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August 13, 2012
This is amazing. The conspiracy theorists abound...between that and those who are upset about getting caught for speeding...

Why does there have to be a theory? Why can't this just be taken at face value- that people have complained to the county sheriff and the CHP about the excessive speeding in our area, and that they are reacting to that.

To think that the county coffers are going to put a significant dent in their budget dilemma with this funding, that they conveyed this concern to our local law enforcement folks, and that they are acting upon it is completely absurd.

The point the CHP is trying to make, is to SLOW DOWN. I woudl rather have them doing THAT than for them to go elsewhere and leave us alone with our two sheriff deputies to cover all of the SLV... be thankful of the presence. We need it.
SJH
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September 20, 2012
I am one who is grateful for their presence. Driving in this valley is ridiculous. Being a pedestrian is even crazier. I think that the cops should station themselves on mt. Herman just out of Scotts valley, at the lights in felton. those boulder creekians need to learn to respect the areas they race through. Maybe one day they will have a more direct route to those areas but until then take it easy.
anonymous
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August 11, 2012
I would feel a lot better about receiving a ticket if I knew that money was going to k-12 education.
SJH
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September 20, 2012
Education needs fewer districts, trustees, superintendantsb, board members. How many of these districts are there in Santa Cruz county. The elimination of the top will save a bunch of education dollars not tickets for stupid selfish drivers.
Victim too
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August 10, 2012
"Did the CHP just discover ticketing as a method of prevention in the last three years?"

Since it's a recession they care about us and don't want us to take on any accident related bills, ya right.

They don't make the law they just enforce it. They are the henchmen.

anonymous
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August 10, 2012
Is it a coincidence that increased ticketing comes alongside city and county government’s recent decreasing income? Did the CHP just discover ticketing as a method of prevention in the last three years?
Just saying
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August 09, 2012
The State legislature sets the bail schedule for violations of law in the State of California. Local jurisdictions can also create laws that generate fines, but the authority, severity, and range of monetary penalties are also conferred by State law.

Fine revenue, while substantial overall, is parsed out to several different restricted funds, the State, then the local agency and does not come even close to covering the cost of doing public safety business, that is what your tax dollars do, kind of.

Samantha Merida
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August 09, 2012
Good points, good letter. David Smith is always eloquent. This letter gives us something to think about.
sam I am
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August 13, 2012
revenuers
Bill Mel
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August 14, 2012
revenators


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