Iowa City Police Move To Decriminalize “Lesser Violations”
If you've ever been pulled over for say, a crack in your windshield or a broken taillight, police in Iowa City have decided that's a waste of everyone's time, so unless there is a safety issue, such things will now be overlooked.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports the Iowa City Police Department has enacted a new policy, that will give reduced priority to secondary traffic violations, as well as pedestrian and regulatory violations (cracked windshields, loud exhaust, inoperable license plate lamps, cracked taillights, dangling ornaments and “window treatments"). That is not to say your jaywalking will be appreciated, but it and other pedestrian infractions will not be the "sole basis" or cause for a stop.
Officers will still be able to use their discretion in approaching these minor violations but will have a few more hoops to jump through in explaining it to a supervisor. They can only be addressed by way of a warning in the process of addressing a primary violation such as failure to wear a seatbelt, inoperable headlights, speeding and reckless driving. Through the "B.U.L.B.S." program, officers can offer free vouchers in the instance of needed repair.
The changes in policy are also an effort to reduce tensions between law enforcement and the public. They come following a memo from City Manager Geoff Fruin, who says that in a time when the city of Iowa City is ramping up its effort to take seriously the demands of Black Lives Matter proponents, nitpicking over these minor violations is likely to erode trust even further.