I-Team: Number of Cleveland traffic tickets down this year

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CLEVELAND – Police Union President Steve Loomis says low morale may be one of the reasons why officers are ticketing few speeders.

The Fox 8 I-Team obtained Cleveland Municipal Court records that show from January 1 to June 30 this year there were 20,560 tickets issued, that’s 7,000 fewer than handed out during the same time frame in 2014.

“I think this is a morale issue,”  Loomis said.  “The Ferguson effect, the  Baltimore effect, whatever you want to call it but that’s the reality.  These guys are going to be answering radio assignments and will do a very good job at that.  If you are flagging them down in the middle of the street, if you have a flat tire, they are going to do an excellent job at that, what they are not going to do is go out and proactively police anymore.”

Loomis said high-profile cases such as the police involved shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the November 29, 2012 police chase and shooting has led to a very low morale among many in the Cleveland police department.

“Police officers take this job, they know there is a risk to life and limb, but now if you get in a fisticuffs with somebody you have to worry about an overzealous media frenzy prosecutor,” Loomis said.

Cleveland police officials declined to issue a formal statement on the reduction of tickets, but said special details such as the protests after Officer Michael Brelo was acquitted could be a factor.

Loomis stressed that  crime is not slowing down.  He noted that felonious assaults with a weapon are up 48 percent in the 4th district.

And that is something that doesn’t surprise resident Melvin Boothe.

“You got so many kids in the street and you hardly never see any police in this area,” Boothe said.