PTC’s ticket cops keep cash rolling in

The Peachtree City Police Department is still at it, writing citations and warnings at an unbelievable rate of over 46 per day.

In calendar year 2012 the PTCPD issued a total of 17,005. That’s almost two citations or warnings every hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year long.

Does anyone else think that is overdoing it a bit? Are our driving abilities that bad?

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a series of letters to the editor detailing the quantity and type of police vehicles we taxpayers were buying and maintaining (sedans, SUVs, motorcycles, pickup trucks, etc.), the use of PTCPD vehicles used for personal business, brand new vehicles budgeted (Chief Clark: “We just can’t get along without 10 more”) and offering that seemingly the sole remaining mode of transport the police chief does not have in his fleet is a horse!

Now, I know that thanks to the efforts of a couple of our more responsible City Council members, the PTCPD has been reined in somewhat.

In calendar year 2011, 20,026 citations and warnings were issued, 3,021 more than 2012. And, the police chief has come to the responsible conclusion that only seven new cars are needed this year.

Although it was reported in a recent City Council agenda packet that we taxpayers had purchased two new Ford Interceptor (Explorer SUV) Utility vehicles. Can anybody explain why they are needed? Why on earth does the PTCPD need these two behemoths?

What allows the city the ability to purchase all these vehicles?

In part, the fact that the money collected through the thousands of citations issued by the PTCPD amounts to the majority of the $1,215,392 budgeted as “Fines and Forfeitures.” The PTCPD writes citations, the city collects cash. It’s all right there in the 2013 city budget.

Even with the slightly reduced number of citations and warnings issued in 2012 versus the year before, the two-year combined total is an astonishing 37,031! Let’s face it, the PTCPD is a money collection machine.

PTCPD: Pass The Cash Pronto Drivers.

Jeff Christian

Peachtree City, Ga.

Silverbullet
Silverbullet's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/05/2007
Ticket Cops

Peachtree City is bad, but Tyrone is worse. That have a speed trap on Tyrone Road going toward 74. Unfortunately, they got me. I was behind a van which was going above the limit. When the van turned off Tyrone Road, I continued my speed...he got me! I told the cop that everyone was going faster than me. He said he couldn't catch all of them! I continued on to Tyrone. On my way back, guess who was giving another ticket to another poor victim in the very same spot. I went down the road and positioned myself so the cop wouldn't see me. He had it down pat, he would give a ticket in the little turn lane...his spider web! He would then proceed to Highway 74, turn around and head back. As he tops the little hill he has his radar on, and zaps the first unsuspecting driver. They don't even know he is a cop until it is too late. I stayed in my spot and watched him give two more tickets. The speed limit there is 35 MPH probably on purpose. I would call this money alley for the City of Tyrone. I will never go back to Tyrone again and spend my money. If everyone else does the same, the merchants will put enough pressure on the City to stop the speed trap. I wish I could post a big sign on Tyrone Road "Warning, you are entering a speed trap! When I read the Citizen about all the crimes in Fayette County. These speed trap cops could serve a better purpose by protecting us from crime. Really burns me up! The ticket cost me $250.00....Good bye Tyrone forever. When your stores turn into empty boarded up storefronts, you can blame yourself!

Silverbullet
Silverbullet's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/05/2007
Ticket Cops

Peachtree City is bad, but Tyrone is worse. That have a speed trap on Tyrone Road going toward 74. Unfortunately, they got me. I was behind a van which was going above the limit. When the van turned off Tyrone Road, I continued my speed...he got me! I told the cop that everyone was going faster than me. He said he couldn't catch all of them! I continued on to Tyrone. On my way back, guess who was giving another ticket to another poor victim in the very same spot. I went down the road and positioned myself so the cop wouldn't see me. He had it down pat, he would give a ticket in the little turn lane...his spider web! He would then proceed to Highway 74, turn around and head back. As he tops the little hill he has his radar on, and zaps the first unsuspecting driver. They don't even know he is a cop until it is too late. I stayed in my spot and watched him give two more tickets. The speed limit there is 35 MPH probably on purpose. I would call this money alley for the City of Tyrone. I will never go back to Tyrone again and spend my money. If everyone else does the same, the merchants will put enough pressure on the City to stop the speed trap. I wish I could post a big sign on Tyrone Road "Warning, you are entering a speed trap! When I read the Citizen about all the crimes in Fayette County. These speed trap cops could serve a better purpose by protecting us from crime. Really burns me up! The ticket cost me $250.00....Good bye Tyrone forever. When your stores turn into empty boarded up storefronts, you can blame yourself!

Silverbullet
Silverbullet's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/05/2007
Ticket Cops

Peachtree City is bad, but Tyrone is worse. That have a speed trap on Tyrone Road going toward 74. Unfortunately, they got me. I was behind a van which was going above the limit. When the van turned off Tyrone Road, I continued my speed...he got me! I told the cop that everyone was going faster than me. He said he couldn't catch all of them! I continued on to Tyrone. On my way back, guess who was giving another ticket to another poor victim in the very same spot. I went down the road and positioned myself so the cop wouldn't see me. He had it down pat, he would give a ticket in the little turn lane...his spider web! He would then proceed to Highway 74, turn around and head back. As he tops the little hill he has his radar on, and zaps the first unsuspecting driver. They don't even know he is a cop until it is too late. I stayed in my spot and watched him give two more tickets. The speed limit there is 35 MPH probably on purpose. I would call this money alley for the City of Tyrone. I will never go back to Tyrone again and spend my money. If everyone else does the same, the merchants will put enough pressure on the City to stop the speed trap. I wish I could post a big sign on Tyrone Road "Warning, you are entering a speed trap! When I read the Citizen about all the crimes in Fayette County. These speed trap cops could serve a better purpose by protecting us from crime. Really burns me up! The ticket cost me $250.00....Good bye Tyrone forever. When your stores turn into empty boarded up storefronts, you can blame yourself!

moelarrycurly
moelarrycurly's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2010
Stupidbullet

Very funny. The fact that you 1)used the old everyone was going faster than me excuse and 2)Could serve a better purpose by protecting us from crime..what are you, some law abiding citizen?
Sneaking around watching law enforcement do their job? Bet you feel superior now, don't you? Grow up and get a life. Learn to follow the law, you dope.

Mike Fairbanks
Mike Fairbanks's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2013
They don't park in turn lanes.

The police aren't parking in turn lanes to monitor traffic. They are parking in the medians. Big difference. The medians aren't used for normal traffic flow.

I like the police presence on 54 and 74.

borntorun
borntorun's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2005
Actually They Do Park in The Turn Lanes Mike Fairbanks

They are frequently parked in the turn lanes in front of Avery Dennison and the hardware store on Hwy 74. I've seen several instances where cars enter the turn lane and have to reenter traffic to get around them creating a potential safety hazard. But hey...anything to keep the city coffers full.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
I have also seen it on Hwy 54

Near City Hall and the Wyndham.

Busy Bee
Busy Bee's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/18/2006
Cops in turn lanes

I agree about the potential traffic hazard in the turn lanes - but for what it's worth, I have watched as an obviously drunk driver blew through the light at Kelly Drive at 8:00 am on a Friday morning - right in front of a cop - and subsequently got arrested for DUI. I was glad to have the cop there.

I have also seen many cars and semis blow through the light at Georgian Pkwy on North 74 without even slowing down, so I think one reason the cops hang out there is to remind drivers to pay attention to the light. I would not want to be T-boned by a semi going 60 mph.

Mike Fairbanks
Mike Fairbanks's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2013
I support our police.

My family and I moved here to Peachtree City after leaving California's out-of-control real estate market and roller coaster economy. We chose PTC after looking at several different locations in Florida and Georgia. Our eight years here have been wonderful, and part of that is due to the police.

In those eight years I was pulled over twice. The first time was by PTC police a few days after I arrived. I knew right away why the lights were flashing behind me. I let my registration from California expire when I moved out here as I knew I was changing residence. I was given a warning citation by a very professional and courteous officer. I took care of the issue the next day, and paid no fine.

The second time was over a non-operational headlight (I didn't know it was out) on the way back from the airport a few years ago. Again, a warning citation. I fixed it.

That's it. No problems other than that, and both were clearly my fault. I have no speeding tickets, red light violations or any other traffic tickets because I actually do focus on all traffic laws. I come to a complete stop at stop signs, never run red lights, and have no reason to break the speed limit. My commute has a 35mph limit on MacDuff, followed by about 50mph on 54, and then I drive up GA 74 three more miles. It goes from 50mph to 55mph. The limit is generous, and breaking it will only save me a minute or two at best, so I don't see the point. I seldom drink alcohol, but on the rare occasions that I might I'd rather spend 20-30 bucks on a cab ride home than several grand on legal bills, fines, loss of job, etc. My car will be fine (or not) if I leave it somewhere overnight. It's just a car. My family's life and my job are far bigger priorities.

Our police force is the most professional I've ever encountered, and their response time is ridiculously quick compared to other places. I'd be very surprised if they responded to a 911 call outside of 5 minutes. Heck, the few times I had to call them over minor, non-emergency issues they were there in under five minutes.

I wouldn't trade them for anything. I love this place.

My only complaint is that criminals come here thinking it's a bigger payday if they can steal from PTC citizens. If they took a few minutes to read a newspaper once in a while they would learn how difficult it is to get away with crime here.

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
I have lived here over thirty years and on the whole,

I have nothing but praise for our police force. I have called them to my house on three different occasions and each time they were there in minutes, were polite and took the situation seriously. Once I had someone banging on my door at 2 am in the morning. They would not respond when I questioned who they were. I called police and they came in approx 5 min but by this time the person was gone. The officer checked all around my house, made sure all my doors and windows were secured and then told me that they would be checking during the night and not be frightened if I saw a flashlight as they would be going around my house on these checks. The third time I had received a phone call that I knew was a scam, aimed at senior citizens. I got what info I could and asked the person to call me back in an hour. I then called the regular police number to see who I could report this to. They said they would send a car out, assuring me it was not a problem. I expected the person coming out to be condescending or at least uninterested. To the contrary, this gentleman was polite took all information and waited for the call back and after having me answer it, the officer got on the phone, told the caller who he was and got valuable information to help shut the situation down. Instead of making me feel like a foolish old woman he thanked me for calling.

I have gotten one ticket and one warning in that 30 plus years. The warning was for not wearing my seat belt and i was guilty and thankful as I was in a stressful situation rushing to hospital and had forgotten my seat belt. I was thankful I was stopped. The ticket I felt was ridiculous.
I had gone to Braelin Kroger at 3 am on a cold and rainy night (morning?) to get some medicine for the flu. The parking lot was empty except for three carloads of teen-agers doing tricks in their cars all over the parking lot. I parked along the curb, away from the front door. There was one other customer in the whole store. I got my medicine and walked out to my car. A policeman on foot, was next to my car--I asked if there was a problem, he said I had parked where there was a yellow line and if an emergency vehicle was called i would be blocking them . This was ridiculous but he was adamant. I got a ticket when to court and the judge did not want to hear anything. I was parked along a yellow line period, end of story, pay the big fine. I was not a happy camper but I still would rather be in Peachtree City with our police department than most other places where the service is lousy.

ptc_mom_101
ptc_mom_101's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2013
Proud to call PTC home

I am proud to call PTC my home. The police make me feel safe. When I call them, they are always polite and deal with the situation no matter how big or small. I have had many broken tail lights, and head lights, and have never been pulled over even when passing them at 415am.
When I arrive to Tyrone city limits, that is when I get pulled over by Tyrone. One time I saw PTC police car with his own head light out, and did the courtesy of calling them to let them know. So after three years, I have never been a victim of this so called police attack!
They do a great job, and good for them to be able to fund what they want. I personally would like to see the paths patrolled more. I have caught many teenagers smoking weed etc on the paths.

common tater
common tater's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/25/2009
yes....just rolling in it

This headline makes it sound like the PTC police are the great beneficiaries of the money generated by the tickets they wright. I wonder if the author ever asked one of these officers about the last time they got an increase in salary. I'm going to say it's been 4 or more years? The cash may be rolling in but its not to the cops' pockets.

RKS
RKS's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2009
Fluffed up Police Department

Maybe if they fluffed up the Fayetteville Police Department, we could have less crime. More eyes watching might be a good thing.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2012
Mr. Christian:

I have been a resident of PTC almost 9 years. Neither my wife or I have been stopped by the police for a traffic violation.

We have however seen a lot of careless drivers. Speeding is one of the major violations I have noticed. Other infractions include failing to stop at stop signs, reckless driving (cellphone talker), and broken equipment (headlights and brakelights) not working properly.

PTC drivers have extra concerns for drivers. Golfcarts, runners, bicycles, kids darting into the street.

As a father with a wife and young children, I do not have any problem with the police stopping violaters and possibly ticketing them. Sometimes one must be fined in order for them to understand the seriousness of the violation.

We have a policeman neighbor down the street. He is afforded the opportunity to park his police vehicle in his driveway when off duty. I believe that this also helps deter crime in my neighborhood.

I have seen all of the police vehicles first hand. During our tour of the police station with a local youth group, the police let the kids see many of the vehicles and explained the usage of each. It made me feel a little better that the police are prepared to react to many different problem situations.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Totally agree about extra concerns

As the weather warms, its great to get outside more.

TinCan
TinCan's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2005
H & F of 2

Been here nearly 25 years and never pulled over myself. However, my wife, better known as "lead foot" has had several encounters with PTC's finest. I have yet to blame the police for those encounters. I believe, if they chose to nail all violators on our streets, they could probably eliminate our property taxes.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
Mr Christian

Please realize that no one on Council will take a stand against a bloated police or fire department. The fact that one of the two chiefs was allowed to retire with not even a slap on the wrist by this Council is really all that needs saying.

Rest assured that there will be at least three vying for Council that have yet to announce plus another for mayor.

John Mrosek
John Mrosek's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2011
Mike King--- you are making

Mike King--- you are making some very astute comments.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/23/2012
Your both correct.

Your both correct. The fire chief should have been placed on immediate leave pending the outcome of a full investigation. Others most likely were knowledgeable but complacent. City admin and council took the easy way out.

The fire and police budgets (along with every dept) need to be closely evaluated every year. Along with this there should be someone making an independent analysis to compare our budget and equipment with similar sized cities.

I doubt any of us bloggers know all of the ins and outs of running a specialized dept such as fire or police. There must be minimum standards set to achieve accredidation (which also helps home and business owners) insurance rates.

Unless council has accurate comparisons from similar sized cities, they are not prepared to challenge a bloated force or unnecessary equipment. The question then becomes, is council prepared to challenge the budgets properly?

intheknow
intheknow's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/31/2006
Husband and Father

The “analysis to compare our budget and equipment with similar sized cities” has been done countless times over the years here at PCFD, usually incorporating the Georgia Class B cities comparisons (cities with similar population sizes to PTC). Peachtree City has been second lowest in Fire Department staffing levels of all the other Class B cities in Georgia for many years. The only lower staffed fire department of similar sized cities has only gotten away with it by having an Army base on their border that runs with them, bolstering their staffing numbers on incidents. Also PCFD is the ONLY FD of ALL the other Class B cities in Georgia, which also provides Ambulance Transport to their citizens. This cross staffing model of both fire apparatus and medic units improves the efficiency and utilization of on-duty personnel, while providing some return to the city in ambulance transport billing (user fee’s). It also provides PTC residents with superior ambulance response times while at the same time bolstering the on-duty staffing for an improved Insurance Service Office (I.S.O.) rating. This superior I.S.O. rating equates to lower homeowner premiums for many of our residents, as well as improved commercial rates for some of our industry. I.S.O. is different from Police or Fire Accreditation, which doesn’t have an effect on insurance, instead serves as a barometer or measurement of an agencies overall services or performance.
If you’re looking for “Standards for Fire Departments”, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) uses Four (4) personnel on each Engine and Ladder truck as their standard with Five (5) on companies that protect high hazard areas (example industrial parks). I.S.O. whom grades departments, giving jurisdictions the ratings used for your homeowners policies uses Six (6) on each Engine and Ladder truck. At PCFD we staff each truck with Two (2), and not long ago ran with some trucks having only One. Doing more with less has been our unofficial motto for many years. As far as “budget” comparisons, considering fire departments normally account for approximately 90% of any budget is attributed directly to “personnel”, I don’t believe much different analogy would be required beyond staffing and services delivered.
We’ve also hired “consultants” from the outside in the past, and quite possibly will be doing so again in the very near future. RFP’s were requested for analysis of both the PCPD and PCFD, and were due in a week or two ago. I haven’t heard anything but would expect these probably came in at $40k - $80k or more, as the last one just for the FD several years ago was awarded to the low bidder at $17k then (most bids had come in then at $30-$50k just for an analysis of the FD alone). I’ve previously commented on these blogs before that the last “consultants report” was the biggest waste of $17k, look up some of my past blog postings for more on that.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Mr. King - Do

your community a favor, talk your friend Mr. Garlock into running for Mayor. There are a number of us out here willing and able to support his run.

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
PTC-O

I'm afraid my pal Garlock would prefer having terminal hemorrhoids than hold elected office. I do agree, however, that he would certainly be a great fit for our town.

Peachtree City will just have to be satisfied having him as a 'grand overseer of sewer', which should one ponder a bit does seem to match his personality.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Well Mr. King

you do know him better than most, but I would say based on his thoughts on many subjects, his experience and background.....you should be more convincing.

Sewers? A waste, don't you think? ;-)

Mike King
Mike King's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/29/2006
PTC-O

I, as have others, have tried but to no avail. You are welcome to give it your best shot. You likely know where he hangs out during breakfast time.

Sewer Authority is likely a waste, but one does get to smile when contemplating him waist deep in sewer issues.

dar thompson
dar thompson's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/23/2006
Hopefully

there will be some quality people who will step up and run for the open office seats.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
I have lived here 9 years

And have never been pulled over. I have seen the hassling teens for no reason at the parks though.

I will never understand what good it does having the Cops sitting in the turn lanes in the way. I like to see them patrolling myself.

IMNSHO
IMNSHO's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/10/2006
Know what you are talking about before speaking

The cops sitting in the turn lanes? Those would be traffic cops. There are usually a couple of them on duty each shift. That is in addition to the 4-5 who are out patrolling their zones (not traffic cops, though they can certainly work in that capacity if necessary).

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Sitting in the turn lanes

is flat out dangerous, for drivers and the Police themselves. Obviously some folks approve.

The Truth Will ...
The Truth Will Prevail's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/13/2008
In the meantime research info

In the meantime research info from the law professor. Interesting info located at ticketslayer.com
Never stop learning, always question everything in your path.