Following the Chesterfield Police ticket money trail

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — The Chesterfield County Police Department’s top brass requires its officers to conduct three traffic stops and one arrest per day or face disciplinary action.

That news spread quickly at Chesterfield resident Michael Kriz’s office on Tuesday.

“Yeah we talked about it at work today; I wonder what happens if nobody does anything wrong that day?” Kriz said.

Kriz and his colleagues were not the only ones talking. Thousands of CBS 6 viewers shared and commented about the investigation into Chesterfield County’s traffic stop and arrest mandates, and  many wondered if the money generated by traffic tickets goes back into the department.

“It’s either about public safety or revenue generation,” Kriz said.

“It`s not coming back to the Chesterfield County Police Department,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dan Kelly.  “No, we don`t get that money.”

Retired Chesterfield Police Commander, Steve Neal, said officers do not give tickets to get money.

“The fact that a police department issues a lot of traffic summonses does not necessarily correlate with the amount of money they would receive for them,” Neal said.

In fact, Matt Harris, the Assistant Director in Chesterfield’s Budget and Management Office, said part of the ticket dollars go toward the county’s general fund, which is used to pay for a number of county services.

The other portion goes to the state.

Regardless, Kriz said he is still uncomfortable with the department’s police and wants change.

“I hope they do something,” Kriz said.

19 comments

  • mia

    Mr. Kriz, there is not a chance in Death Valley’s &!#-crack that no one breaks a law in Chesterfield on any given day. more like an idiot every block. I know, I’m cussing all the way to work and back!

  • Joe

    ” said part of the ticket dollars go toward the county’s general fund, which is used to pay for a number of county services.”

    Anyhow. The other part likely goes into another fund used to pay fines to the private ran prisons here in VA that have contracts requiring a steady flow of inmates. Not at full capacity? Pay a fine. There’s a financial interest in keeping the prisons full.

    So, if you want a great follow up on this story, pay close attention to the contracts with private prisons, VA is one of the top 3 in the nation that require over 90% capacity due to contract stipulations. They need to arrest you. They want to arrest you. You’re not a person, you’re not a citizen, you’re a collar to them.

    • Gerry

      Good post. Did you know that the anti-immigration laws from a few years ago were the product of ALEC and that a prominent sponsor of ALEC is CCA? They benefited from the laws in the same manner. It’s sad that sheeple believe that ALEC and the rest of that 3-ring circus have the voters best interest in their agendas.

  • Robbie

    WTVR, trot on down to State Police Headquarters and ask the head meter maid if his overpaid meter maids have anything that resembles this story. While you’re at it, ask why these over paid meter maids don’t work after midnight in a lot of rural counties across Virginia.

  • Jay

    Since the Chesterfield populace voted down the food tax, the cops need to raise income?
    Don’t know anything about the prison deal Joe writes about; but, seems like something Va. lawmakers/administrators would agree to.

  • John

    Hopewell City, needing money anyway it can get it, found that the way to do it is write traffic tickets. The one stretch of I-295 that goes through their limits is affectionately referred to as “The Million Dollar Mile” due to the millions of dollars in fines paid. They have seemingly got away with this aggressive enforcement which made other “top cops” jealous. They didn’t want to be outdone, so they have upped the “aggressive enforcement” for their traffic divisions. It really pays well and gets more positions funded for their departments due to the statistics of the amount of tickets they are writing.
    This is not to say that people don’t violate these very important traffic laws. Yet, I have heard of some people that got a ticket for which they swear they weren’t speeding. Guess what? The Judge doesn’t side with Joe Citizen in court when it is his word versus the police official. If it wasn’t so rigged to one side getting believed in Court would maybe help me think it was somewhat fairer.

  • Gerry

    If they want easy revenue, all they need is to catch red-light runners all over the county. Or even better, install red-light cameras. They can make a lot of money catching people doing 80 on 288 during rush hour too. Or texting while driving. But as for actual arrests? Hard to do in some of the beats of the county. They will have to profile to make that happen.

    • dmcgrann

      But they have installed red light cameras, they just won’t admit it. Winterfield and Midlothian, Huguenot and Old Buckingham, Huguenot and Robious, Huguenot and Forest Hill, Huguenot and Buford, and Buford and Forest Hill. To my knowledge, they’ve not been turned on yet. That’s six locations I’ve seen. The county can install up to right around 33 by law. They can’t turn them on until they post signs.

      Take a look at these cameras. They’re pointed in directions that make no sense except for red light enforcement.

  • tyler

    I have experienced firsthand how Chesterfield police officers write bogus tickets just to meet a quota. I for one was stopped on 3/29/14 for no apparent reason. When I asked the officer why he stopped me he refused to respond but demanded my license and regristration. Which I complied he then went back to his car I sat for another 45 minutes while he wasted my time contemplating on what ticket he could possibly write me. I am sure he pulled up my driving record and realized I haven’t had any tickets in over 13 yrs and I have 6 positive points on my driving record.He came back to my car and gave me 2 tickets one for improperly braking and improper use of a turn signal. I was like why? His response was if you don’t like it you can dispute it in court. In court he lied and told the judge when he was about to pull me over for swerving(which was not true) I didnt brake correctly and I shouldve used my turn signal within 100 feet of me turning off to stop because he was pulling me over. Do you know the judge actually agreed with him and I was found guilty and sentenced to driving school and fines. Where is the justice I have had one speeding ticket my whole life and it was over 13 yrs ago! Have you ever noticed that towards the last few days in the months you see so many traffic stops and arrests in chesterfield. These are the officers racing to try and meet that monthly quota before the last day of the month so they won’t be penalized I personally know an ex-chesterfield officer who explained to me years ago they have to meet monthly quotas or could be at risk of losing their job hence which is why he is no longer employed there but has moved on to being a henrico police officer where no monthly quota is required. I feel this is ridiculous, unjustice, unfair and should be a policy that is illegal. At the end of the day law abiding citizens like myself are being harassed and wrongfully targeted because of a quota. I have never been in trouble with the law in my life smh. I mean where is the integrity with the person who made this rule up I am sure some of the chesterfield police officers have families to feed why put the pressure on them to write bogus tickets to meet a quota just so they can remain employed. So the answer to your question Kris is when there is no one doing anything wrong they will stop any and everyone and you will get written bogus tickets which they will tell you to dispute in court knowing good and well the judge is going to side with the officer. Then on top of that you still have to pay the tickets and court fines/fees. It’s all a conspiracy.

    • Robbie

      I’m innocent your honor! I was lighting a cigarette, putting on makeup, texting and eating an egg mcmuffin so I didn’t have time to put on my turn signal much less hit the brakes.

    • John

      Tyler, Even if the Judge had believed you and found you Not Guilty, it still cost you a day of your time to go to court and be treated like your a terrorist when they search you at the front door. The Police, Lawyers and Judges come in a different entrance where they are treated like best friends. The Judges aren’t going to believe Joe Citizen versus a Police Officer. The Judges are in the “free pass” zone with the police in their jurisdiction. You rarely if ever hear about a Judge or Judge’s family member getting a minor ticket in one of these harassment stops. If so, they handle their business behind closed doors. I am going to let my General Assembly Delegate (Joe Morrissey) know how I feel about this. I know he’s not scared to stand up to anybody in the System.

  • B Addy

    Wow that’s a tough one to swallow isn’t it Tyler. Even if true, those petty reasons for you being pulled should have been dismissed once your driving record appeared and was outstanding. What a crock.

  • Mac

    This has been going on for years. If you are victim of the daily quota you have three options 1-just pay the fine, 2-go to court and be found guilt and pay the fine and court cost, 3-go to court and pay the money and go to their safety town program. No one gets off after they issue a ticket, they are happy to take your money by any of the above mentioned methods. Best bet.. just call in and surrender the money, that way you don’t waste lost time from work going to court. There has never been an innocent person enter or exit Chesterfield Courthouse. Don’t believe me, sit in on traffic court any given day.

  • Sean

    They call it “Arrestafield” for a reason. Police officers in Chesterfield have always been known for being overzealous, overly strict, and ticket crazy. As a white teenager growing up in Chesterfield i cannot count on one hand the amount of times i was harrassed by police, usually for doing nothing but being present in a public location.

  • mbaker9105

    Until the “quotas” are removed, if they have to apply them right now I’d like to see them applied to the drivers (usually age 25 or so and under) who haven’t learned yet respect for the dangerous instrument they are in control of, proper driving techniques, or respect for other citizens on the road and living in the neighborhoods. Constant zipping and swerving in and around traffic, no turn signals, just all around poor driving. These habits are unfortunately cured mostly by being in a bad accident or worse. Also the CONSTANT thumping of radios and treating every pullout from a stop sign like it’s their own individual drag strip annoying everyone with their crappy little cars crappy little muffler. There were also loud exhaust years ago, it was called needing a new muffler. Yes, it’s a muffler. Look up the word….:) I personally don’t know where they get the money, I don’t think most of us had access to that much disposable income, as we weren’t expected or allowed to live at home until we’re 30 years old…..:)

  • Chuck

    It’s no surprise a lot of Chesterfield residents just call it “Arresterfield.” While the higher ups prefer to call it a “performance of duty,” essentially it’s a quota. Why whitewash the truth?

  • Ann NIchols

    Allmost all police departments have quotas. Having had family who were officers, it is pretty much across the board. State and local depts. It is a way to generate funds. Some departments pass some of the money to their officers. Some dont. Some offer bonuses if they meet quotas each month. Just varies but quotas are out there and have been a very long time. They may not be called quotas – some prefer bonuses but ……

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