Stringtown Police Kicked Off Highways For Three Months - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Stringtown Police Kicked Off Highways For Three Months

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STRINGTOWN, OK -- A police department in Atoka County has been banned from the highway, forcing troopers to cover the area instead.

Troopers say ticket-writing practices by police in Stringtown, population 400, apparently violate state law, so effective January 1, the department can no longer patrol the highways in town.

Troopers say under a request from the state attorney general's office, they began investigating tickets written in Stringtown.

"When our Troop Z, which is an investigative unit for us, went and investigated and found that, Stringtown's been placed on a 90-day probation period and removed from the highway for the time being," says patrol Lt. Shawn Pierce.

"That's how the town makes their money. That's the only.. that's part of Stringtown," says Samantha Glover, who visits her grandmother in town.

Under a state "speed trap" law, jurisdictions can be investigated if it's found tickets are being written for the purpose of generating more than 50 percent of operating revenue for a town.

"There's a certain percentage that they're allowed to have, a certain amount of revenue," says Pierce. "It was found that exceeded the amount of revenue that the rest of the city was taking in."

"If it was an actual speed trap and stuff, but these folks, I've been down here five years and these folks have been very legitimate, very professional," says resident Jeff Fluornoy.

For the next three months, we're told the one officer who currently works for Stringtown will be able to patrol streets right here in town, but not on U.S. Highway 69.

"I know of three accidents up here on the highway and some with fatalities because people are driving too fast, and now without the police presence, they're just gonna drive faster," says resident Kevin Shirley.

"They've ticketed me and I was in the wrong and I paid the fine and went on," says Fluornoy. "I didn't like it but you know, hey I was in the wrong."

Some residents tell us they believe police should be able to keep writing tickets. "Other than stopping them at the school, that's where we get everything, that's how we get our roads fixed," says Glover. "We have some really bad roads out there going like toward Greasy Bend and that's how we fixed them."

Troopers say a similar suspension also happened several years ago in Stringtown, the closest town to Mack Alford prison. We went to town hall on Thursday evening, but were told the mayor and board members would not talk to us and to contact their attorney in Atoka.