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Police Union Applauds Gov. Scott For Signing Anti-Speed Trap Bill, Calls It 'Long Overdue'

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Traffic ticket quotas will soon be officially illegal under a bill recently signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. A union representing the state’s police officers says the bill is long overdue.

Florida Police Benevolent Association Executive Director Matt Puckett says he’s thankful the Governor signed the measure banning law enforcement officers from writing a certain number of speeding tickets.

“The issue that happened in Waldo, and some of the issues that you hear about as a labor association that represents police officers is that ticket quotas is not maybe not officially condoned, but at times, they’re unofficially encouraged,” said Puckett. “And, we’ve seen cases where that’s been put in writing. We’ve certainly seen that when you look at when they do the evaluations, the number of traffic citations that are issued can sometimes be part of the measurement in some of those evaluations. So, we think getting that type of system out of our state is a good thing.”

Waldo, a small North Florida town, was known as one of the worst speed traps in the nation. It was forced to disband its police force, after it was found that a significant part of the area’s budget came from traffic citations. Under the new law taking effect July 1st, any local government that falls into that trap in the future would have to report to the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.