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Florida Troopers Told to Write More Tickets
13 August 2017, 03:03 | Darnell Patrick
Scott Keeler- Times
Sen. Jeff Brandes R-St. Petersburg
A key legislator who oversees the Florida Highway Patrol's budget said a high-ranking FHP official had no authority under state law to order troopers to write more tickets. He specified that it was not a quota, but a chance to support the Statewide Overtime Action Response (SOAR).
Florida state troopers are among the lowest-paid in the country, though the recent SOAR initiative encourages them to work the roads more by bumping up their pay.
. Mark Welch of Troop H sent out the email. In an email obtained by the Times, Welch wrote that figure "is not good enough". He called it "a goal to reach".
Lt. Col. Mike Thomas said Welch's word choice was off and he was not imposing a quota.
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Gene Spaulding said the department is committed to making highways safer for motorists and doing so by enforcing safe driving. "We're just trying to promote our guys getting out, making the stops, having contact with the public, educating them, and we do have discretion".
FHP declined the a request to interview Welch. "Two citations each hour", Welch wrote. "No ifs, ands or buts", William Smith said.
In an April memo, troopers in Miami-Dade who met ticket-writing goals were given an extra weekend off with pay.
During the 2016 TACT campaigns, FHP troopers and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) issued 67,144 citations relating to aggressive driving behaviors.
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