CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – City Councilors in Cranston have turned the tables and are now taking action to encourage police officers to issue more parking tickets in the city.
A committee of the Cranston City Council has voted to reduce the illegal overnight parking penalty from $50 to $25. The change is designed to encourage police officers to write more tickets, after Council President John Lanni said patrolmen weren’t ticketing.
“We found out that some of the officers – according to the police union, anyway – that some of the officers were reluctant to give out $50 fines. So they weren’t giving them out, they said because of the economy,” said Lanni.
Parking tickets have recently been a point of controversy for Cranston police. The parking ticket investigation was launched in January when Councilmen Steven Stycos and David Archetto claimed that residents in their respective wards were specifically targeted with an inordinate amount of parking tickets over the course of 48 hours.
Stycos and Archetto alleged that the tickets – 128 between the two wards – were issued because they had voted against a proposed police labor contract. According to the councilmen, only nine tickets were issued throughout the rest of the city during the same two-day span.
After receiving these allegations, Fung said he would dismiss the 128 parking tickets and order refunds to anyone ticketed who had already paid the fine. The Cranston Police Department launched an internal investigation, but – days later – the State Police took over.
The full city council has not voted on the proposal to drop overnight fines.