FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. Recent Court records highlight concerns over millions in revenue generated since 2010. The Prosecutor (Faulkner County) has requested state police investigate allegations of a somewhat lucrative speed trap. The town in question lies between Faulkner through Van Buren Counties. KARK (Working 4 You) has received numerous complaints and grievances from viewers. Authority to rob has been likened to street crime robbery. Is there any real difference.
The comments come from someone who had sought employment within the department. However felt an unease about the department and how it was being run. Again further drawing a correlation to highway robbery. The police chief was reported as confirming the focus was on patrolling the highway with special attention to out of town speeders. It is alleged that these small towns rely on this revenue to keep their small towns afloat. It is suggested that alternative means to fund raising be considered instead of seeing the highway as a cash cow.
Court records confirm strict strict criteria laid down in respect of Arkansas speed trap law. Briefly it can not generate revenue in excess of 30% of it’s expenses of the preceding year. Also half of the tickets should not be for less than 10mph over the limit. The prosecutor confirms that enforcing laws should not be about making money. The belief is that the amounts of revenue generated violates the Arkansas Speed Trap law.
This is what underpins the action for an investigation in to Arkansas State Police. Statute dictates only a prosecutor can request Arkansas State Police to review. State police must then request citations, fees and fines along with relevant court records. Arkansas State Police confirm that the criminal investigation division will handle the investigation. Also assisting would be the Bureau of Legislative Audit. The numbers and detail will now be scrutinized to see if they contravene state law. Outside analysis is also seen as adding transparency to the process. There is a widespread perception that there is and has been a speed trap. Albeit further to a FOI request the City Attorney had previously questioned public interest in respect of speeding citations.
According to court records fines (unsafe driving and citations) secured $607,939 in 2015 for the Damascus Police Department. This figure prior to state entities. This figure comes out at around 46% of preceding years expenses. Court records were obtained for surrounding cities. From April 2016 back to 2010 Damascus (pop: 385) generated over $2.5 million in fees and fines from unsafe driving and speeding tickets. Greenbrier, 12 times the size of Damascus, raised $740,000. Clinton being three times the size and sharing the same highway raised approximately $300,00. Court records confirm the smaller city of Damascus has generated proportionately and substantially more.
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