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Cops Try To Turn Traffic Ticketing Into a 'Cash Cow' for Towns — Judge Refuses To Go Along, Blows Whistle (Video)


By Byron Harris
First, it was the "Dirty Thirty," a line of four towns along a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 45 south of Dallas that issue a high volume of traffic tickets.
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Now, welcome to the "Texas Triangle" – a group of small towns in Falls and Robertson counties southeast of Waco that are also in the ticket game, according to a longtime municipal court judge who said he quit over what he described as a ticketing quota system.


Revenue generated from tickets pays for a lot of small town police departments in Texas. Without ticket income, some couldn't afford a police force.

"Normally, when they pull you over for safety, they ask the 'safety' kind of questions. They ask you for insurance; they check your tags. This was none of that," said Don Shaheen, one of the thousands of Texans who got speeding tickets in April.

Instead of being concerned about safety, he said the officer just wanted to write a ticket and then get on to the next one.

[...]

After that story was broadcast, we were contacted by a retired municipal court judge with a story to tell.

"When I first became a judge, we had one reserve officer," said David Viscarde. "That's all he did on Friday and Saturday every other weekend. He'd write 100 citations."

It was Viscarde's job to handle the aftermath of that tidal wave of speeding tickets.

For more than 15 years, he was a volunteer municipal court judge in the small town of Calvert in Robertson County, about an hour southeast of Waco. Calvert sits in the middle of a triangle of towns in Central Texas which statistics show are huge ticket-writers.

Lott on Highway 77, and Franklin and Hearne on nearby Highway 79 are included.

"Their municipal court is their cash cow," Viscarde said about Calvert.

He told News 8 that he quit as judge there because he was getting pressure from city officials to push speeding tickets through court.

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