The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has “separated” with a trooper amid an investigation into irregularities concerning traffic tickets in Harnett County.
The issue arose after a supervisor reviewed weekly citations, focusing initially on tickets written by one trooper and extending the scrutiny to another trooper. As a result, a nine-year veteran trooper has left the Highway Patrol. The other, a five-year veteran, has been put on administrative duty during the internal investigation.
Raleigh television station WRAL found that each trooper has more than 230 cases on the court dockets between now and September. In addition, at least three drivers were stopped and charged by the troopers more than once on the same day. Many of the drivers also faced citations for as many as 10 infractions.
“I absolutely have concerns,” Gov. Roy Cooper told WRAL. “I know the Department [of Public Safety] has concerns. I don’t know how much detail has been discussed, but it should be thoroughly investigated, and whatever action needs to be taken should be taken.”
It was unclear why the troopers issued multiple citations, but speculation focused on the thought that writing more tickets made the offers look more diligent in their jobs.
The State Bureau of Investigation and the Harnett County District Attorney’s Office are conducting independent investigations.
Most law-enforcement authorities are dedicated public servants who strive to protect the people of North Carolina, but it is possible that one or two of these troopers in Harnett County deviated from standard operating procedures. And it could happen in any county in North Carolina or any county in the United States. That’s why anyone charged with a traffic infraction that they feel is unjust should consult an attorney to have the case reviewed.