Monthly Archives: April 2012

Did Sheriff Matthews Traffic Enforcement Unit Put Kershaw County In The RED?

According to an article in  the Chronicle Independent out of Camden, SC on Monday, April 9,2012  it may have done just that. Herein lies the problem, it seems County Council Chairman Gene Wise is under the impression that if a deputy writes a ticket the courts are always suppose to see the deputies side. Wise is reported as saying he believes our courts should be “profit centers” for the county, not dispensers of justice.  Seems the courts do not agree. Well, now that requires an ad hoc committee and they have to call in everyone, the County Administrator, the chief magistrate, the Sheriff and the County Auditors to see why the judges are not playing nice.

Even Jimmy Jones has weighed in against the magistrates it appears. He states in the article he knows the activity is there and the deputies are writing three times as many tickets but the courts are “obviously doing something over there.” Maybe they are taking their cues from the Supreme Court, if it is wrong it is wrong. So like Obama they need to go forth and blame the courts.

So, how does this put the county in the red? Well it turns out the goose that layed the rotten egg, Sheriff Jim Matthews newly formed traffic enforcement unit, costs the county $350,000 to start up by purchasing the four new cars and the four new officers for the first year and Matthews told us it would pay for itself in the first six months but now  it has been 8 months and we are $130,000 behind. We are a long ways from being revenue expense neutral.   What does this mean? It means instead of going forth to serve and protect the deputies have to spend all their time writing tickets to cover their pay.  This means they are more likely than not harassing motorists who make the slightest of mistakes. Matthews has stated in the past that everyone stopped would at least get a warning, guess now they will all get tickets.

Vic Carpenter , the County Administrator, is reported as stating that the county would have to collect $30,000 a month going forward to become revenue neutral. He states the figures “haven’t come close to $30,000 a month.” But also states they have  been “picking up a little in the last two to three months.” according to the article. And I would suspect that after the printing of this article by the Chronicle they will be picking up even more. So if you have to drive through Matthews Cou, I mean Kershaw county please practice safe driving.

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