Friday, February 24, 2012


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



  1. I agree that other officers should not be cleaning peoples ticket records. I believe that it is up to the officer who writes the ticket to use his discretion to write it in the first place. I also feel like there would be some sort of computer record that would show who signed in and deleted the record. So I can not see how the department had not caught on to this sooner.

  2. I also agree that officers should not have the power to take away tickets that were issued by their co-workers. This seems to be an abuse of power. The ticketing officer had to evaluate the situation, and work in an ethical way, using his/her discretion to decide to write a ticket. The officer who takes away the ticket, for no good reason, other than they know or are related to the individual, should be punished for abusing their power.

    Offers take an oath to serve and protect, not to take care of their family and friends' speeding tickets. I agree with Michael. If every officer did this, no tickets would ever be enforced. What would the deterrence be to not speed? There would be no negative reinforcement for poor judgment or bad behavior. I am also surprised there is not a protocol in place that would notify someone in the department when tickets are changed or eliminated from the computer system. It is odd that the record simply disappears without a trace of its existence or its deletion from the system.

  3. This is obviously an unacceptable action. Official Misconduct like such has been an issue for many years, particularly in small towns. My small town actually encountered a city administrator being charged with official misconduct for telling and officer to destroy a ticket. I like to think that with a new era of police professionalism emerging that this is not as readily an issue as it was in the past, but I fear I am wrong.

    The officers on traffic patrol have been certified and trained on how to apply the law and when to use discretion. No other officer or political figure should be allowed the right to contradict that officer's actions or decisions. I agree with Thomas Myer's opinion that police computer operating system should notify officers of what actions is taken with their tickets to help deter any official misconduct. Regardless, it will continue to be an issue as long as humans are police officers.

  4. I agree 100%. I think that if not everyone has a chance to get rid of their traffic tickets than why should just one person or a just officers family and close friends? In my driving time I have gotten many many traffic tickets and I think that since I don't have the chance to throw mine out then hey should someone else? Police officers job is to give tickets and make our society safe and by officers taking care of them for free then the people who committed the citation in the first place will just keep doing out without punishment because they get out of their tickets! I think this is just unfair and should not happen!