Council considering changes to how some traffic violations are handled

Council considering changes to how some traffic violations are handled
Updated: Jul. 26, 2018 at 5:41 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council could change the law that directs how police officers should handle traffic violations.

The NOPD police chief said the change could make the department more efficient.

City council members believe police officer's time could be better used by issuing citations rather than making arrests over suspended licenses.

Superintendent Michael Harrison went before a council committee this week to discuss the new ordinance proposed by council members Helena Moreno and Jared Brossett.

Harrison said the department is always looking for ways to be more efficient with resources while keeping the community safe.

However, that state law requires a mandatory arrest.

Some council members believe that should change, and officers should focus their time arresting people for committing more serious crimes.

The council hopes this change will better align the city's policies with State Police.

"So if State Police is choosing to be permissive on arrests for a suspended license I believe that the NOPD should also be allowed to use discretion on whether they arrest someone for a suspended license, or not," said Moreno.

The proposal got a unanimous approval on Monday from the council's Criminal Justice Committee, and will go before the full council on Thursday.

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