Members of the Waldo, Florida, city council voted to disband the community’s police force, putting to end a long-running and heavily criticized speed trap and reported ticket-quota program that brought in tons of revenue for local government coffers.
AAA even erected a billboard more than 10 years ago, warning approaching motorists that they were entering one of the most notorious speed traps in the nation, AOL Autos reported.
City council members voted to disband the police force shortly after Cpl. Kenneth Smith resigned from his interim chief’s role over allegations about imposing ticket quotas on his officers. Previously, Chief Mike Szabo had been suspended over the same claims, which are currently being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, AOL Autos reported.
AAA hasn’t taken the town off its radar. The group says it’s going to keep an eye on Waldo to see if traffic tickets are written in the future for safety, rather than quota, reasons.
“Assuming the disbanding results in the end of traffic enforcement taking place for the purpose of revenue generation, then we would strongly consider not renewing our billboards there,” Karen Morgan, a public policy manager for AAA’s southern office, said in AOL Autos.
At one point, Waldo was reportedly raking in 73 percent of its town budget from traffic fines.
Alachua County will take up the traffic patrol duties for the town, AOL Autos said.