Indianapolis Police Running Low On Paper Tickets

Next Shipment Won't Arrive Until December

While Indianapolis police officers are scrounging to find enough paper tickets to last them through the month, officials say the shortage doesn't mean a free ride for motorists.

Marion County's 32 law enforcement agencies are all counting their paper tickets as the year comes to a close, but Indianapolis police officers are almost completely out of the essential item, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

Officers sitting on more than one book of traffic tickets have been asked to share with others and neighboring departments have also stepped up to help out.

"The state police have been cooperative in giving us some, Speedway Police Department has given us some and the Traffic Violations Bureau set aside a case," said Lt. Valerie Cunningham, who works in the traffic branch.

The department has about a 10-day supply of tickets remaining, but the next shipment isn't expected to arrive until Dec. 3. It comes after the Marion County Traffic Court printed more than 160,000 tickets in 2008.

Some officers told Rinehart they're trying to conserve as their stack of tickets goes down.

"I've been writing them as long as I've got them, but here in the last few weeks I've been a little more judicious with them," one officer said. "Sometimes it takes a while for them to get them to us."

For now, the official police line is write them if you have them. Still, the department is planning for the worst.

"Even if we did run out of the citations, we'd still be diligently patrolling, and you know, (giving) verbal warnings. We can also give written warnings, but we wouldn't stop doing our jobs just because we don't have the paperwork," Cunningham said.

In January, Indianapolis police will convert to the electronic ticketing system utilized by state police. Officials said the system will streamline records with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, speed up traffic stops and improve the collection of fines.