Sit Down, Waldo: City Council Disbands Police Over Speed Trap Rep
The city council of Waldo, Fla. — population 1,000 — sternly told its police department to take a seat in the shame bus, disbanding the force after its chief and interim chief both resigned amid an investigation into the town’s reputation as a speed trap.
Associated Press reports the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will take up where the Waldo Police Department failed, while AAA will consider taking down billboards warning motorists of the speed trap awaiting them.
The path to disbanding began in August, when Chief Mike Szabo was suspended during a probe into allegations of ticket quotas. The same allegations would later take down interim chief Corporal Kenneth Smith a couple of weeks later, with both resigning soon after.
The police force was a cash machine for the city budget, providing half of the $1 million spent annually in Waldo; last year alone, 12,000 tickets between seven officers produced $400,000 in revenue.
Though the country sheriff will oversee law enforcement in the near-term, residents believe speeders and criminals will have carte blanche over Waldo. That said, the residents have recently asked the state government to post a single speed limit for their city; currently, there are six within the two square miles Waldo occupies.
Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.
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