Finally- the truth about Patton Village Police

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- In the interest of transparent government, Patton Village Police Chief Joe Schultea has begun posting a detailed account of his agency’s monthly activities on the city’s website.

The second report of 2009 is now available for review, and covers the dates of February 10 through March 1. The information provided might surprise people.

For many years, the three mile stretch of US 59 near SH 242 that falls inside Patton Village city limits has been called a “speed trap” by commuters, and rumors have persisted that the Patton Village Police Department existed only to write tickets for the financial benefit of the city.

“It’s a misconception that (citation money collected) all goes into the coffers of the city,” Schultea said. “The city only retains the failure to appear funds- the rest of the money goes to the state.”

While some might be upset by the stigma attached to his department, Schultea sees it as positive.

“If they slow down because we’re writing tickets, or because it’s the right thing to do, we work fewer accidents,” he said.

The message is simple, he said. “Slow down.”

Schultea has good reason to be concerned with how people drive on the three-mile stretch of interstate because a surprising number of accidents occur in the same locations within that space.

The first two reports of the year show 10 accidents each inside Patton Village city limits, with the overwhelming majority on US 59.

Feb. 10 through Mar. 1 (10 motor vehicle accidents)
* 4 – US 59 at Creekwood Drive
* 2 – US 59 at SH 242
* 1 – Flying J Truck Stop (on the corner of US 59 and SH 242)
* 2 – main lanes of US 59
* 1 – 24000 block of Creekwood Drive

Jan. 9 through Feb. 8 (10 motor vehicle accidents)
* 5 – US 59 at SH 242
* 3 – Flying J Truck Stop (on the corner of US 59 and SH 242)
* 1 – US 59 at Creekwood Drive
* 1 – SH 242

Anyone clinging to the belief that Patton Village officers spend all their time writing tickets to unsuspecting drivers need only examine the monthly report to see the truth.

“We do a lot of work with neighbors and the county since we’re a little better off than some other agencies because we have a minimum of two cars around the clock,” Schultea said.

PVPD assists Woodbranch, Splendora, and Roman Forest Police Departments, as well as county agencies.

The officers are still writing tickets, and one officer is assigned exclusively to that task. But the numbers show he and the other officers are doing far more. The online report lists each officer and a detailed list of their activities for the reporting period, including date, time, location, nature of call and its disposition.

There is also a summary of traffic violations, listing the number written by each officer. During the current reporting period, two officers wrote a combined total of only six traffic citations. The only one to write over 40 citations was the officer assigned exclusively to traffic enforcement.

Detailed lists are provided for execution of municipal warrants and environmental investigations, as well.

Schultea will post the reports on the Sunday before each city council meeting, which is on the second Tuesday of every month.

To view the current PVPD report, go to:
PVPD Activity Report

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