May 12, 2008

Police department taking back parking ticket collections

Six years ago, the Racine Police Department handed over its parking ticket collection system to a Milwaukee company. Six years later, the department is taking the system back.

The City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously voted Monday to allow the Police Department to renegotiate its contract with Citation Management.

The company was hired in 2001 to manage Racine’s parking system, and to allow the police department to eliminate three positions. Complaints about the system appeared in recent years.

One problem: the company has nine people answering its “convenience phones” for 170 contractors, Deputy Chief Art Howell told the finance committee.

“‘Convenience phone’ is not a very accurate name,” Howell said.

City officials also got complaints about parking ticket payments being lost and had their own questions about how much money they were getting back from the company.

After reviewing the arrangement, the police department concluded it could take back control of its parking ticket transactions without adding new employees, Howell said.

“We’re operating on less staff through technology,” he said. “We now have a software system in place to enable us to do the same job with less people.”

The department will continue paying Citation Management to use its proprietary software, he added. It will still save at least $100,000 per year by collecting its own parking fine.

Alderman Tom Friedel, chairman of the finance committee, said he supported the change.

“The parts that bother us, you’re getting rid of,” Friedel said. “The parts that were working, you’re keeping.”

The Finance Committee voted to allow the police department to alter its contract with Citation Management. The proposal now moves to the full City Council for final approval.


  1. Leave it to Howell to ONCE AGAIN save this crime ridden city money. If this guy isn't appointed the next Chief of police for this city, it will be borderline criminal. What have these other high ranking police officials done to save this city money??? NOTHING!!!!!

  2. You know what - sometimes in life you give something a try and it doesn't work out. If they had not tried this some would complain they needed to give it a shot. They did and it has not worked out. Let's move on.