Four HPD officers investigated for possible policy violations involving traffic tickets

August 15, 2012 4:09:35 PM PDT
We're following a developing story involving a Houston police officer you may remember from a 13 Undercover investigation nearly two years ago. One of the city's top cops when it comes to the number of tickets written has been taken off the streets -- for now.

Eyewitness News has learned he is among four HPD officers being investigated for possible policy violations. We've learned the possible policy violations involve traffic tickets, and according to the police union, Internal Affairs spent the last year and a half combing through thousands of them.

The controversy surrounding Houston police involves a group of Central Patrol officers who were working traffic beats. The four officers relieved of duty this week have been part of an 18-month probe into possible policy violations.

"From what I know about the four of these, they are hard working police officers," said Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers Union.

He says he can only speculate to the possible policy violations right now since union leaders haven't seen details from the Internal Affairs investigation.

"It could be that they didn't get permission to go to another area to write tickets or didn't answer their radio whenever they were bumped. I don't know what the allegations are, but those are possibilities out there when I'm talking about policy violations," Hunt said.

Eyewitness News has learned one of the officers relieved of duty this week is Senior Officer Matt Davis. Back in 2010, 13 Undercover raised questions about where police were writing the most tickets, and whether those traffic stops were really about safety or money.

At the time, Davis was writing about 10,000 tickets a month. In 2009, he earned 60,000 in overtime pay. Now Hunt says it'll be up to the police chief to determine all four officers' future with HPD.

"All indications are that our chief has issued fair discipline to hard-working officers when they have simply had policy violations that did not rise to a level of criminal allegations," Hunt said.

We've been requesting the names of the other three officers involved in this case, but HPD has not released them because of the ongoing investigation.


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