We are writing this letter in opposition to SB 3411 and ask you to consider the following points regarding traffic enforcement and the positive effect it has on our communities. As police chiefs we have a duty to our communities to reduce crime and make our residents feel safe. One of the single-most successful and effective ways to address a spike in crimes including nuisance type violations, serious and fatal crashes, robberies and burglaries is to increase traffic enforcement in particular geographic areas or target specific violations such as speeding, seat belt usage and distracted driving.
In addition to the effects that traffic enforcement has on crime, better than half the citizen complaints that police departments receive are directly related to traffic concerns. Citizens want motorists to drive slower and act safer when in their neighborhoods.
Traffic tickets serve a purpose -- they change driver behavior. Our ultimate goal is to stop people from committing traffic violations. Drivers make a conscious choice to obey traffic laws or not obey them. With that said, law enforcement leaders should have the right to expect a certain work product from their officers, while not making the work product arbitrary. In a recent Supreme Court decision, Park Ridge v. Begg, the courts found administrators have a right to impose reasonable performance expectations.
Aggressive traffic enforcement is a win-win. It reduces crime and increases safety. We do not support SB3411 and ask that legislators vote "no" and leave the decision of managing officers and developing realistic enforcement goals to the individual leaders of the law enforcement agencies that they serve.
Buffalo Grove chief of police
Mundelein chief of police
Raymond J. Rose
Lake County Sheriff's Office