Ralls defends police department procedures

by Chuck Ralls
A sample of the illegal drugs seized by the Comanche Police Department during traffic stops. A sample of the illegal drugs seized by the Comanche Police Department during traffic stops.

(Editor’s note: The following is an article by Comanche city manager Chuck Ralls in regards to complaints City Hall has received about traffic stops by the police department.)

By Chuck Ralls

City Manager

Recently, I have seen and received an increase in complaints regarding traffic stops in our community. Citizens are suggesting that we are becoming a speed trap city and they are unhappy with our police department.

I would like to address these concerns in a couple of ways.

First, if you are not breaking the law then you will not be stopped. Despite what you may think, officers do not enjoy making traffic stops but they understand it is required to help keep our community safe. The majority of traffic stops are for defective equipment, expired tags or speeding ten or more over the limit. Comanche officers do not have a mandated quota, this is illegal.

Another thing I would like to clarify is that very little of the tickets are remitted to the city. Most of it covers court costs, OSBI fees, software, and other miscellaneous costs. The remainder is deposited into a dedicated account used to provide resources for the officers such as bullet proof vests, radios, etc.

The main reason for traffic stops is to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our citizens. Speeding is a significant threat but only one of many.

In 2022 routine traffic stops resulted in the confiscation of a staggering amount of drugs including opium, cocaine, meth, heroine, marijuana, and countless prescription drugs. Officers took four drunk drivers off the road, found one missing person, three runaways, and resolved two kidnappings. Other results include the recovery of four stolen vehicles, fifteen warrant arrests and two weapons violations.

Most of these offenders are not citizens of Comanche, but instead they are people posing potential harm to our community.

I hope that everyone reading this obeys the law and has no reason to get pulled over but if you do, be respectful to the officer and thank them for putting themselves in harm’s way every day to keep our families and our community safe.