Crackdown on Unpaid Tickets Nets Quarter Million Dollars in 1 Week
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ People with outstanding misdemeanors are lining up at police headquarters to pay their fines, spurred by a crackdown that has netted the city $250,000, officials say.
Incoming telephone circuits have been so jammed since the program began that a municipal judge said his wife complains she is lucky to get through to him at the office.
Most of the money has come from unpaid traffic tickets, says the police officer who coordinates the program.
Sgt. Jerry Staton said during the first week of the crackdown, which began April 25, officers cleared more than 4,000 of 133,000 outstanding warrants.
For those who haven’t come clean on their own, the Police Department has 12 officers whose only job is to make sure the crackdown remains successful. So far, those officers have corralled between 1,700-1,800 violators, and those that can’t pay the fines have been arrested, Staton said.
The net result to the city is $255,553 in revenue - not including fines that were paid through the mail, which have not been tallied, he said.
By comparison, during the week of March 25 through April 1, a month before the crackdown began, authorities collected $153,378 in fines from overdue tickets and outstanding misdemeanors - a figure that includes mail-in payments.