In many parts of the country, police have expressly been instructed to issue more traffic citations in order to generate revenue to counteract governmental budget deficits. For example, this has happened in the metropolitan Detroit area, where the state of Michigan reduced its revenue sharing with communities by $3 billion. More tickets have been issued there for driving as little as 5 mph above the speed limit, and traffic warnings have virtually become a thing of the past.
The reason for this action was stated succinctly by the president of the Police Officers Assn. of Michigan, who said: "When elected officials say 'We need more money,' they can't look to the department of public works to raise revenues, so where do they find it? Police departments."
Michael Reaves, the chief of police in Utica, Mich., explained the situation this way: "When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you're a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues."