The Eastville Police Department in Eastville, Virginia has issued tens of thousands of traffic citations in the past three years, despite the town only having a population of 300.

As recently as 2021, revenue from the department’s citation activity accounted for more than 70% of Eastville’s total income. Various courts have recognized that generating more than 10% of revenue from fines and fees raises serious constitutional concerns. These types of policing for profit programs aren’t just potentially unconstitutional, they also erode community trust and harm public safety.

Police should serve to protect, not ticket to collect. That’s why Institute for Justice (IJ) issued a statement condemning the Eastville Police Department for its taxation by citation ploy, merging the department’s duty to protect with its need to fund operations at the costs of motorists’ civil liberties.




Related Letters and Statements