A new citywide policy requiring any driver ticketed while behind the wheel of a city-owned vehicle to pay their fines prompted Safety Manager Alex Martinez to require Denver police officers to either challenge the violation or pay the fine. In the past, officers were not required to pay their fines, but would receive an oral reprimand after the first ticket and a written reprimand after a second.
The change comes following a 9News investigation that found the tickets were widely ignored by those driving city vehicles. From 2009 to mid-2012, 607 tickets were unpaid. Police vehicles accounted for 458 of those.
Commanders still will receive notice when officers are ticketed, and the Conduct Review Office will determine if the violation occurred during an emergency. Under the new policy, cops will receive an oral reprimand for a third offense and a write-up for a fourth. A fifth ticket could result in pay being docked eight hours. There is no change to the policy that leads to the cancellation of tickets issued to officers responding to emergencies.