Pendergrass Gives Out Most Tickets in NE Georgia

In the nine years he has patrolled a stretch of U.S. Highway 129 through Pendergrass, police Sgt. Bill Garner has developed a philosophy about giving tickets, getting drunks off the road and busting illegal drivers.

“I don’t care what they’ve done,” Garner said on a recent Friday afternoon on the road. “Being mean to people isn’t going to make my day any easier.”

He’s not sure how many tickets he’s given in his tenure with the Pendergrass Police Department, but there’s a good chance that the tall officer with the clean-shaven head has given more than his fair share.

Pendergrass, after all, holds the title for collecting the most revenue from traffic fines and seized assets per resident in the Northeast Georgia region for the second year in a row. In 2006, the department took in about $558,020 in fines – enough to pay the police department’s $312,636 budget in 2006 and then some.

That $558,020 represents about $1,136 in fine revenue for each of the town’s 491 residents. That’s nearly five-times the revenue per resident collected by the town with the next highest police-revenue-per-resident numbers.

The Arcade Police Department, which the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regularly reviews and clears of speed-trap allegations, only took in $264 for each of the town’s 1,900 residents.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office, which collected about $118 per county resident in 2006, came in third in a ranking compiled by the Athens Banner-Herald from data collected by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

In the nine years he has patrolled a stretch of U.S. Highway 129 through Pendergrass, police Sgt. Bill Garner has developed a philosophy about giving tickets, getting drunks off the road and busting illegal drivers.

“I don’t care what they’ve done,” Garner said on a recent Friday afternoon on the road. “Being mean to people isn’t going to make my day any easier.”

Profound words indeed from the officer, to read the remainder of the article visit OnlineAthens.com, article by Merritt Melancon.

 

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