For the first time since The Luther Register began online publishing two years ago, we have a report of the number of tickets issued by the Luther Police Department.
New LPD Chief David Randall included the numbers in his November monthly report presented at the Town’s Board of Trustees December 12 meeting. The report marked the statistics from Randall’s first month on the job. Although the police department had provided reports previously, the number of tickets written was never included in board reports. The information also was not shared when requested by The Register.
The number of citations issued was 45 for the month. Although fine amounts on the tickets vary, with speeding and related violations beginning at about $200 each plus fees, the 45 tickets for November represents a downward trend in projected revenue. According to a budget analysis provided by former mayor Lea Ann Jackson, CPA, the Town had budgeted to collect $18,750 monthly in “fines and forfeitures.” However, to date, a total of $76,548 has been collected from July – November, which averages to $15,309 monthly. Jackson’s spreadsheet was provided to the Board and requested by The Register.
The Town builds its annual budget, in part, on revenue from fines and forfeitures. Other revenue sources are sales tax revenues, licenses and permits, grants, interest and franchise taxes. The board had budgeted less ticket money than the year before, but the actual numbers are coming in under that, while expenses have soared with vehicle repairs and other expenses. From Jackson’s November analysis spreadsheet, the police department has spent 101% of its annual budget in the first five months of the fiscal year.
Other details from the Police Report include:
Officers in the Department 5
Training Programs provided 1
Officers attended training 2
Citations issued 45
Warnings issued 0
Rescue calls 0
Agency Assists 13
The numbers give insight into the operation of the Town, and sharing the information helps develop more informed citizens. In recent meetings, trustees have approved expenditures to repair several vehicles, while also approving the sale of surplus vehicles. Since taking office, the board accepted the resignation of the previous police chief and hired a new one. Last month, Chief Randall put one officer, Sgt. Mike Oliver, on “administrative leave,” (while getting paid) while his employment is being reviewed.
Chief Randall also is recruiting Reserve Officers. Reservists do not get paid, but are willing to serve.