Study: Police Writing More Tickets, Making Fewer Arrests

CLEVELAND – Action News has obtained a new study that shows a dramatic drop in DUI arrests in the city of Cleveland.

Action News' Ed Gallek had the detail in a story that you could have only seen on Action News.

The study done by a city judge shows that police officers in Cleveland kept writing more and more tickets, but they arrested fewer and fewer drivers. The problem is, those results don't necessarily mean that city streets are getting safer.

Over the last five years, the number of traffic tickets issued has jumped by more than 35,000 a year. Over the same time, however, the number of DUI cases has dropped by more than a third.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Sean Gallagher gave credit to what police are doing, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving pointed to what some officers are not doing.

"The Cleveland Police have concentrated a lot more on community policing, having a much greater presence in neighborhoods, and I think the public picks up on that and people are being much more careful," Gallagher said.

"Different officers make the decision not to make drunk driving arrests," MADD spokeswoman Nikki Nimrichter said. "Some are very aggressive about it. Others are not. It varies by community and the reasons vary, including it's too much paperwork."