A very cursory look at the City of Coquille 2007 – 2008 budget appears to indicate an increase in police department spending of almost $87K to $593K which appears to be mostly salaries. In addition the city is anticipating an increase in shared State revenue in fines up from $59.6K to $75K. Without further research I cannot confirm whether those fines are generated by the police department or not, but I believe they are.
Given the information received from The Pew Center on the States regarding the cost of corrections I have to wonder if the actual cost of writing those illegal u-turn tickets are really the best investment of tax dollars the city could make. Will be interesting to compare that to investments into the local schools, extracurricular activities, music, etc….
Personally, I have always believed that police are poorly paid discouraging the best candidates from entering the profession. Perhaps Coquille could have fewer cops, pay them more and let them focus on real crime instead of petty enforcement. Would be nice to see cops that actually walk down the street like in the ‘olden days’ instead of always tethered to a squad car too.