Fine and dandy


The City Council is going to consider raising traffic fines for most offenses by $5 at tonight's meeting. The stated reason is to cover the $2 increase in the assessment levied by the state Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). CLEET gets a share of each fine assessed -- a sort of commission for training police officers to be more effective.

Someone called this to my attention and wonders if the city thinks officers aren't bright enough to handle numbers that aren't multiples of $5. He also recalls that just last year, preset fines were increased for most violations from $80 to $115. At the time, Police Chief Dave Been said that officers favored raising fines so long as the purpose was to deter offenses, rather than just to raise revenue. If that increase was punitive in intent, rather than a revenue enhancement, then it shouldn't be a problem for that extra $2 CLEET assessment to come out of that $35 increase. In any event, I don't see the need to raise an extra $3 per ticket. Now if someone wants to tell me that fines should be high enough to fund the municipal court system, but aren't, I'm listening. But fines aren't the right way to fund general functions of government.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 17, 2004 12:06 PM.

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