Can Ferriday reduce crime by raising fines?

Published 12:03am Wednesday, January 16, 2013

FERRIDAY — Ferriday officials are hoping residents will soon realize they shouldn’t do the crime if they can’t pay the fine.

Mayor Gene Allen and Police Chief Richard Madison said they have been working together in an effort to deter criminal activity by increasing fines for certain traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

“What we’re thinking is that we can reduce violations by raising the penalty, so that if you know you’re going to have to pay a $750 ticket for loud music, you’re going to lower that music,” Madison said. “This is in no way a revenue option because we don’t write tickets for revenue.

“We set penalties for violating the law and when you break the law, there’s a penalty for it.”

Allen said one of the first things he and Madison did when they began looking into the possible fine hike, was to call around to various municipalities in the area that have similar populations to Ferriday.

“What we found is that we had some of the lowest rates out of all of them,” Allen said. “Our rates are very low, so this is something we kicked around, and we’ll be providing to the aldermen to see where they want to go with it.”

Madison said some of the municipalities they called were Vidalia, Jonesville and Rayville.

“We also want to be consistent with the other municipalities of our size within a 100-mile radius,” Madison said. “We have the lowest fines of all the ones that we contacted.”

As examples, Madison mentioned three different costs for citations in Ferriday:

-A speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit costs $109.

-A disturbing the peace by fighting citation costs $281.

-A disturbing the peace by loud music citation costs $581.

In Vidalia and Jonesville, costs for the same citations:

-A speeding citation for 10 mph over the limit in Vidalia costs $140. In Jonesville, the same citation costs $115.

-A disturbing the peace by fighting citation in Vidalia costs $190. In Jonesville, the same citation costs $300.

-A disturbing the peace by loud music citation in Vidalia costs $130. In Jonesville, the same citation costs $250.

Allen said no decision would be made on the increases until more information was compiled and distributed to the aldermen.

“This is something we’ve been looking at and been working to put together information for the past few days,” Allen said. “We’ll look at it at our next meeting and see what happens.”

 

 

 

  • Anonymous

    Fine amounts don’t matter. It’s a cash grab, plain and simple. Why not just make up for it in volume of tickets…you know…like last time? Criminals and lawbreakers don’t think about fines when they commit the crime…it’s only after. SMDH.

  • Anonymous

    Raising fine and jail time for crimes that seem to be more prevalent can help but the police actually have to do their job and eliminate all the loafing and public intoxication on the streets get tougher with patrols and cracking down on drugs and violence truly clean up the town if you want to reduce the crime. Speeding 5 miles over is hardly an issue when you have people getting drunk on the streets and dealing drugs on every corner…You can’t turn a blind eye simply because you went to school with them or know their parents or family or you grandmother knows their grandmother and sit by each other in church… if you going to be in a position of authority then you have to let all that go and do the job you were hired to do.

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised they knew how much a loud music citation was considering they’ve likely never written one. If they have, well there’s your answer. Fines are a punishment, not a deterrent. If they were to be deterrents rather than punishments just make all the offenses listed above at a $5,000 fine and 2 years in jail or more. The sky’s the limit. No, this is about revenue and pricing structures across the local industry, not prevention of anything.

    This leads me to another point. Exactly when did it become the duty of law enforcement to prevent crime, as if they even wanted to? The next time law enforcement leads you to believe they want to get rid of crime, think of that in the same respect as a banker saying they want to get rid of money or a librarian wanting to do away with books.

  • Anonymous

    Allen said no decision would be made until more information was compiled. Translation, until he figures out how much of this money can go in his pocket!

  • Donna Sue

    How about raising your pants and no lottering? You would write several tickets daily and after 3 tickets for same offence put them on hwy 15 for abt 30 days…first thing first tho. Your officers need to be officers and not buddy, buddy with these thugs.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds a lot like price fixing which is illegal? Otherwise, the local price gougers in gasoline would contact any other community within 200 miles and have to reduce their prices!