Picture This...No Police Discretion

City Council greed trumps officer discretion


The removal of discretion in the enforcement of motor vehicle laws is not a positive development. As technology progresses, more and more violations will be enforceable by machines. Right now, speeding tickets could easily be issued by machines measuring the time it takes a certain vehicle to travel a certain distance. How would the machine be certain it is tracking the correct vehicle? That technology already exists with E-Z Pass.

The most essential aspect of law enforcement is the professional judgment the officer brings to each situation. Police are not paid because they can mindlessly fill in the blanks on a traffic summons. Officers are paid to make specialized decisions through the prism of their training, experience and the totality of circumstances. Police have already allowed communications and much parking enforcement to be turned over to civilians. Turning over enforcement of motor vehicle offenses to technology may make sense fiscally, but it subverts the type of measured justice Americans have come to expect.

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