Mayor Rick Kriseman: red light-running officers in St. Pete will have to start paying citations

6:53 PM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Following a 10 Investigates report on officers not having to pay red light camera violations they incur, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman called for a change in policy on Tuesday.

"I believe on duty employees should be held to a higher standard," Kriseman wrote in a letter to interim police chief David DeKay. "Once a determination has been made by the Chain of Command that no emergency exists...in addition to paying the requested civil fine due, the employee will also receive a Memorandum of Counseling and will be subject to progressive discipline." 

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Since 2012, the City of St. Petersburg has followed a policy that exempted officers from $158 fines, instead providing (in most cases) for letters in their personnel files. In 2013, the city updated its policy so that off-duty officers would have to start paying violations, but on-duty officers still did not.

On Jan. 3, the day after he took office, Kriseman told 10 News the city's policy was a "concern".

Now, all St. Petersburg officers who run red lights inappropriately will face both discipline and the $158 fine.

At most agencies, including the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, officers have been responsible for any red light camera fines accrued while behind the wheel.

In a few local agencies, such as the Port Richey Police Department, officers still get free passes from fines.  The Manatee Co. Sheriff's Office doesn't hold deputies accountable for the fines, but much like St. Petersburg's former policy, internal discipline is possible.

Contact 10 Investigates reporter Noah Pransky via Facebook or through his updates on Twitter.

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