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Courts facing decline in revenue due to fewer citations

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Updated: 5/02 3:27 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Many courts in Clark County are facing more budget cuts because of a decline in ticket revenue. That could mean fewer staff, longer wait times and less public assistance.

The traffic violation fines the public pays mostly goes to the Las Vegas or Clark County general fund, depending on the location of the citation; they eventually send it to the courts.

Clark County Chief Judge Bert Brown says citations that fund his court are down an average of 21 percent over the last year.

Municipal traffic citations have dropped 29 percent since 2009, and criminal citations are down 22 percent.

The Las Vegas Justice Court's budget also relies on fines from citations, which have gone down 12-24 percent over the past two years, according to Chief Judge Karen Bennett. That translates to a $13 million loss, and it could drop even more.

Data from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows:
  • Cops are on track to issue slightly more citations this year, but tickets are still down about 13 percent from fiscal year 2010
  • Over this same period of time, there were 188 fewer officers on the streets
A spokesperson did confirm off-camera that new policies of not responding to non-injury accidents could give officers more time for enforcement.

News 3 requested the figures and compared March 2014, when the policy went into place, to March 2013 and found officers wrote 666 more tickets this year.
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