Police Chief Fired For Not Writing Enough Speeding Tickets
For those of you who think all cops write tickets because they like doing so…think again. Morrison, CO police chief, George Mumma Jr., was forced into retirement on August 12 after the town manager complained his officers weren’t aggressive enough in writing traffic tickets.
Local news station Fox31 sat down with Mumma who said, “It was made clear that our budget was based on traffic revenue.”
Mumma joined the department back in 2017 when he said it was known for being a speed trap and had gotten a reputation as “one of the worst departments in the Denver Metro area.”
Town manager, Kara Winters told Chief Mumma’s officers that his retirement was related to three major policy issues: face masks, traffic speed, and vehicle noise.
In Winters’ statement she wrote, “Among the most important was the requirement that all town employees – including our police officers – consistently wear face masks in public places. We also were not aligned with respect to the board’s mandate that the department more effectively control traffic speeds and vehicle noise throughout the town.”
Mumma has said that while he supports people wearing face masks, he prefers to follow the governor’s directive that allows officers some flexibility based on circumstances. He also acknowledged the town has struggled to maintain a balance between the bars in town that are dependent upon motorcyclists and residents who complain about the noise created by those patrons.
However, he said the number one issue was traffic tickets and how much revenue they created for the police department.
“Usually an agency has some other form of revenue (besides traffic citations) coming in that addresses the police department,” said Mumma who claims he was never comfortable Morrison Police receiving 100% of its revenue from traffic tickets.
At a recent meeting, the Board of Trustees released a document showing Morrison made $988,856 in citations in 2018 and $940,696 in 2019 and was on schedule for a similar number in 2020 despite a big drop in April. Mumma says the falling citations can be attributed to COVID-19 saying “COVID hit, traffic stopped. We really didn’t have a bunch of traffic to enforce.” So far for 2020 revenue is $558,080.
Over the years, Mumma created a traffic division consisting of three officers while the rest of the force worked crime. Several officers have reported that Mumma was praised for transforming the force from simply a ticket-writing team into an investigative agency.
Upset by the decision, the Morrison Police Department sent a letter to the board of trustees saying, “Chief Mumma is a man of high ethics and standards,” adding his “retirement has been forced without basis” before asking for Mumma to “resume his role as chief of police, effectively immediately.”
Fox31 reports the chief reports to the town manager who said it’s a personnel issue, which she won’t discuss.