Police to halt aggressive enforcement

By Ned Seaton

Riley County Police Director Brad Schoen said Friday that the cops plan to quit their aggressive campaign of busting people for minor traffic violations around Aggieville.

After a speech to the Konza Rotary Club, Schoen acknowledged that the enforcement effort was “not making any difference” in reducing accidents or violations themselves. “So why do you want to keep doing that?”

The police for the past year have been focusing on traffic violations near Aggieville, in addition to more serious crimes. It’s part of a new approach intended to target repeat criminals and particular geographic areas where crime occurs more frequently. The idea of writing more tickets for things like cell phone use, seat belts and changing lanes without signaling was intended to reduce accidents, among other things.

Schoen said the rest of the program appears to be working. Crime is down overall in the community, and crime in the targeted area is down even more.

Schoen acknowledged that he had initially had more concern about the idea of targeting individuals who were repeat offenders. But he said the biggest public-relations problem has been the complaints he’s received from people — or their friends and family members — who’ve been ticketed for minor traffic violations.

He said there would be a new traffic enforcement effort to replace the existing one, and he said that subject would be discussed at a management meeting soon. But he did not go into details.

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