Atlanta Mayor: Revenue not the reason for ticket increases

Updated:

Loading

ATLANTA - Numbers show police and Park Atlanta are issuing nearly double the number of tickets from years prior.

Park Atlanta wrote 141,000 tickets in 2010 and two years later, wrote 221,000, according to documents obtained by Channel 2 Action News.  The city received thousands of dollars in ticket revenue, but Mayor Kasim Reed said money was not the motivation for the increase.

"The ticket and traffic enforcement process is actually a tool in combating crime. One of the off-shoots of that is you do have an increase in revenue," Kasim said.

Atlanta resident Joe Williams say he remembers Reed telling Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne three years ago that this would happen.

“Police will be issuing more tickets to keep more people safe," Reed said.

Williams said he wonders if the push for more tickets is just an easy chance to increase the city’s revenue.

“I thought the purpose of police departments was supposed to be to serve and protect, and not ticket and arrest,” Williams said.

Channel 2 Action News filed an open records request for documents that show Atlanta police and Park Atlanta have issued more tickets during the Reed administration.  According to the documents, in 2009, Atlanta police issued only 173,438 tickets.  During Reed's first year in office, that number nearly doubled, documents show.

Williams said he was not surprised to hear about the increase.

“I was kind of shocked but no, not too shocked. I know there were a lot of complaints with the city on how aggressive they were being," he said.

Williams said that aggressiveness led to him being pulled from his car when he refused to show his license to police at a vehicle check point. He said he didn't do anything wrong and thought it constituted illegal search and seizure.

"I was arrested and spent the night in jail,” he said.