Where Your Fine Dollars Go in Stearns County
Have you ever wondered where that money goes when you pay a fine for a speeding ticket or parking violation? Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall joined me on WJON today. She says there is a difference between fines and forfeiture money. Money from fines go to the court system to pay for things like the law library which is a public access library. She says that money doesn't go back to her office. An example of forfeiture money is when the police take the drug dealer's cash. The police get part of it and they can only use it for certain things and the county attorney's office gets 10% of that and they can only use it for certain things. Janelle Kendall says the things it is used for has to be criminal justice or law enforcement related. She says the money is commonly used for training.
I asked Janelle if there is any incentive to pull more people over for speeding or other violations. She says there is no incentive for police to do this and they do not have a quota of the number of people they need to ticket. Kendall says during the pandemic they did see any increase of people speeding. She says the "crazy driving out there during the pandemic was absolutely off the map." Kendall says during the pandemic they did see less drivers as a whole but more high speed chases and speeding. She says they have seen the number of people driving go back to normal levels and the amount of people speeding go down.
If you'd like to hear my conversation with Janelle it is available below.