I-TEAM: Questions raised over new speeding ticket system in Napoleonville
NAPOLEONVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Questions are being raised over a new speeding ticket program that has been implemented in the Village of Napoleonville in Assumption Parish.
Drivers should be on the lookout if they drive down a stretch of LA-1 in the area because the chances of getting a ticket has now gone up. The Village recently struck a deal with a private company to monitor the stretch of road and mail out speeding tickets like one obtained by the WAFB I-TEAM which is for $200.
The Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office handles law enforcement efforts in that area for those folks who pay parish taxes there and Captain Lonny Cavalier, a spokesman for the agency, calls the ticketing system nothing more than a money grab.
“We had no advance notice and we had no communication from the mayor’s office about it,” said Cavalier. “That’s what it is. It’s a cash cow and unfortunately it’s going to be milked off the good tax paying people.”
The tickets appear to come from the Napoleonville Police Department but Cavalier says that department does not exist and that they have not had officers nor have they written tickets for years.
“We’ve been conducting the law enforcement in the Village for several years now. No, I mean, there’s no patrol units, there’s no police activity here other than from the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police.”
The WAFB I-TEAM has learned the company the Village contracted the services with is called Emergency Enforcement Solutions. Someone from inside City Hall in Napoleonville says the Village does have a police department, which is required by law, but they do not have a police chief, nor any officers. We’re told they instead have one contracted deputy who does not do any patrols but only handles the tickets. Cavalier says the Village only put that deputy in place recently in order for the new ticket program to collect. He says a number of people have reached out to the sheriff’s office with questions about the tickets and whether they should actually pay the fines.
“There’s a lot of questions that somebody should be answering,” said Cavalier.
There’s also a question over where the money collected from the tickets will go. Cavalier believes this is all about raising funds for the Village and he says if leaders want to bring in more revenue, they should go to the people and ask for a tax instead.
“Go to the people that you service and ask them to vote you a tax,” said Cavalier. “Either they will or they won’t. If they think you need it, they’ll vote you a tax but this is basically an imposed tax upon the people and they never get a say. They never get to vote on it.”
WAFB did reach out to City Hall in Napoleonville in order to get a comment from the mayor on the ticket system. Someone in the office said he would be in later this week. WAFB has also requested a copy of the contract between the city and Emergency Enforcement Solutions.
Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon released the following statement on July 19:
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