Policing-for-Profit Undermines Public Safety. This Town Shows A Better Way


Property crimes in Palmyra decreased by over 80 percent after directing officers to focus on behavior changes and outcomes rather than generating revenue.

Relying on tickets to fund government is counterproductive to public safety and can erode trust between community and law enforcement while worsening long-standing economic inequalities when residents can’t afford to pay. The village of Palmyra, Wisconsin, is an example of how ending policing for profit can dramatically lower crime and improve public safety. Since 2014, Palmyra has reduced ticket fines assessed from over $90,000 to less than $30,000 and created a budget that is wholly independent of the revenue raised through fines and fees.

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James Small and Joanna Weiss
Route Fifty