For the second straight year, San Diego police officers are writing fewer traffic tickets, says the San Diego Union-Tribune. The reason: fewer cops. “We are down about 200 officers,” San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said. The force is spread thin because so many officers have retired or quit over pay and benefit issues. To make up the shortfall, officers have been diverted for training, court appearances, special details and police calls. The ticket revenue loss to the city at $2 million for last year. Last year, San Diego police wrote about 37,500 citations for moving violations considered hazardous. That compares with 56,900 in 2004.
Lansdowne hopes a new recruitment and retention plan in the works will increase officer numbers in coming years. “The No. 1 complaint I hear from the public is traffic, traffic, traffic,” he said. Less ticket writing apparently has nothing to do with driving. Said Assistant Chief Joel Bryden: “There still is a lot of bad driving out there.”