Sheriff's Office: ‘Zero tolerance’ means just that
by Jim Ruth Bradley County Sheriff
Aug 11, 2013 | 2468 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Zero tolerance means that you go by the letter of the law.

Fifty-five miles per hour means just that. So, zero tolerance means a ticket is issued at 56 mph with no exceptions.

It also means in traffic enforcement that a ticket is issued if a light is out on your car, or if your license tag is not displayed properly.

There are variations to implementing a zero-tolerance program. The deputy could use his or her discretion and only write a speeding ticket if the violator was going 5 mph over the speed limit. Well, whatever the policy it would have to apply to everyone.

I mention this because the patrol deputy is the first defense against the encroaching criminal element that is branching out into Cleveland and Bradley County. I predicted this would increase and bring physical violence that is unprecedented for our community.

The Cleveland Daily Banner has reported on this several times, most recently of this outside influence bringing violence here. Well, the future is now!

The criminal elements habitually break the traffic laws, just like they commit more serious felonies. That is the reason for having sufficient numbers of patrol deputies on duty at all times. They will be able to enforce a zero-tolerance policy, make arrests, confiscate vehicles, and gather intelligence on these felons that bring violence to our county.

It is important for experienced deputies to be on the job. It is with them that we can make it too costly for these very bad people to ply their trade here. That is the reason that I continue to ask for people, along with better pay. This all goes to keeping our homes safer.

The new mayor in Chattanooga has announced they are hiring 40 more police officers. Apparently, he is the first mayor who is serious about the inner city violence. I applaud him for this bold stand.

However, this new police strength will bring added pressure on us here in Bradley County as they run the bad guys out of Chattanooga.

Trained and experienced deputies become proficient in spotting a potential problem, they know the law and its application. Therefore, they can apply that legal pressure, thereby making the thug very uncomfortable in Bradley County.

We will have to apply all the laws evenly, but we are already doing that. If given the proper tools I can keep Bradley County the safe place we have always enjoyed. As it has been said before, “We pay now or pay later.” Paying later will be too great a cost.

As everyone knows, school is back in session and traffic will increase, especially in the morning and afternoon. Please be mindful of safety for everyone and obey the traffic laws, especially in our school zones. So far this year, we have had four traffic fatalities in Bradley County, which is nine less than this time last year. Please, let’s work hard to keep that trend of less traffic fatalities going for the rest of the year.

Again, thanks for reading.