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A new bill if passed will give officers the choice to either write a misdemeanor or take the person to jail

Posted: Thu Mar 08 17:33:53 PST 2018
Updated: Thu Mar 08 17:33:53 PST 2018

Speech to Text for Misdemeanor

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new at five... a bill making its way through the house would give law enforcement officers the option of not taking people to jail for misdemeanor offenses. waay 31's breken terry did some digging into senate bill 154... she has more on how this could help free up police officers and jail space. look live: instead of taking offenders to jail, senate bill 154 would give officers the option of writing citations for misdemeanor offenses like minor in possession of alcohol, small amounts of marijuana, and shoplifting... holmes - normally on an arrest we spend anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour in a detention facility just depending on how backed up that detention facility is. florence police lt. brad holmes helped work on this piece of legislation; he says this bill would allow officers to get back on the streets faster. holmes - so five minutes of writing a citation vs an hour inside of a detention facility i think the tax payers get a better bang for their buck if you will by having officers patrolling neighborhoods rather than them tied up on misdemanor offenses. holmes tells us this would also free up space in local jails. holmes - when we look at jail overcrowding which is an issue municipalities across the state are dealing with i think it's something that can help with that. if a citation were written, offenders would still have to pay the same amount in fees. holmes - the individual is still held accountable. the individual still has to appear before a judge or majistrate for court. the process is still the same were just cutting out the detention part of it to lessen the amoung of people in our jails. some florence citizens tell us they think the bill is a good idea. coggin - our police department would have more time to arrest people who are doing worse things than actually having a bit of marijuana. calvert - it could save a ton of paper work and get officers back on the streets to help the real problems and it would also keep a lot of people from doing those small things by a citation besides having to carry them all the way to jail. look live tag: senate bill 154 passed the senate unanimously -- it will now go to the house for a vote. if it becomes law -- local municipalities would still need to pass an ordinance to give officers the authority to write citations for misdemeanor offenses. in florence
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