Thursday, November 12, 2009

Forget Red Light Cams, lets just seize their property

This is an extraordinary story from the Detroit News on seizures by Metro Detroit area police departments. They are WAY up and the property of innocent citizens is often a target.

"Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business," said Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township's forfeiture unit, which raised $343,699 in 2008. "You'll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they've got to -- they're running out of money and they've got to find it somewhere."

The increase in property seizures merely is a byproduct of diligent law enforcement, some law enforcement officials say.

"We're trying to fight crime," said Police Chief Mike Pachla of Roseville, where the money raised from forfeitures jumped more than tenfold, from $33,890 to $393,014.