How many times have you been driving down the road, not realizing how fast you were going, and all of a sudden, you realize that you are being followed by a police officer? You look down at your speedometer, a little too late, to realize that you are speeding. So, the lights come on, you get pulled over, go through the routine, and you receive an expensive speeding ticket. Then you start wondering where you are going to get the extra money to pay for it. Now imagine that you could get that ticket to magically disappear. You know someone who knows someone who will take care of the ticket for free. I’m sure that most of us would jump at that opportunity to get our tickets to go away.
This situation probably goes on in just about every city. I read an article titled N.Y.P.D.Ticket-Fixing Scandal. It is about the New York City Police Department and how some of their officers have been “fixing” or getting rid of tickets for people they know. Their Internal Affairs Bureau had found out about it and captured one officer on tape while he was fixing a ticket for someone. The tape was from 2009. They investigated last year and found at least sixteen different officers that had been involved in a systematic and well thought out and organized scandal.
I have heard of these kinds of things happening close to us, as well. I know a mechanic that works for the city of Champaign. He often works on the police squad cars. Some of the officers of Champaign have told him to bring tickets to them if he ever gets one in Champaign. They take care of the tickets for him and his immediate family members. This guy is a good person, and I know that he doesn’t abuse them and their powers to take care of it.
Now, the way I see it, this should never go on at all. I don’t care how well you know the person or how close you are to them, police officers should not be getting rid of people’s tickets for them. It is part of a police officer’s job to write tickets to those who break the law. Police officers use discretion when they are on the spot on whether or not to give a ticket. It is not part of an officer’s job to take their friends’ and family members’ tickets to get rid of them. If every single officer got rid of tickets for his or her family and friends, then almost all of the tickets that are issued would disappear. We would have no revenue coming in from it, and no one would ever learn a lesson from getting a ticket. They would keep repeating their behavior that got them the tickets, take them to their police officer friends, and get them taken care of. I know that it must be difficult when you are in this position as a police officer, but they should all realize that they shouldn’t be doing this.
By Scott Masters