Fewer Tickets in Josephine County

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A handful of Josephine County commuters lined up at the court window Monday afternoon to pay  their traffic tickets, but officials said statistics show that  line is a little bit shorter than it’s been in years past.

Mark Illingworth was on his way to work when he got pulled over.

“I was speeding. What can I say? I was just going with the flow of traffic, maybe a little bit faster,” said Illingworth.

As he paid his ticket Monday, he realized he doesn’t often pass law enforcement on patrols.

“I’ve seen no sheriffs. I’ve seen no O.S.P. on the freeway,” said Illingworth.

Grants Pass police said they have written fewer tickets over the past few years. Officials said one reason is because they’re working with a young team of officers.

“Having an officer that would ordinarily be writing citations on a fairly regular occurrence and putting them with an officer that may not know the vehicle code quite as well,” said Grants Pass Police Lt. Todd Moran.

Two officers are assigned just to patrols, but even they are pulled off if another crime is happening.

“It may not be traffic that is your most urgent need.  It could be that you’re experiencing in certain areas of town. So, you’re trying to apply that same data in order to deploy your resources in a more efficient manor, said Lt. Moran.

Lt. Moran said there are no quotas in place for number of traffic tickets. While some may think the tickets are a key revenue source, officials said they typically see less than half of the money from every ticket written. Lt. Moran said the decline in tickets isn’t just in the city, but county wide.

“The ability for officers to do proactive work has  suffered with the collapse of the criminal justice  system in Josephine County, we feel the effects of  what happens in the county,” said Lt. Moran.