Wait 'Til Bloomberg Hears About This!


The unloved South L.A. County town of Maywood has an interesting method for making its annual seven-figure budget. According to an outraged Frank del Olmo in the Los Angeles Times, Maywood cops set up rush-hour roadblocks on the two main freeway-alternative drags, and check every driver's paperwork. Since there are plenty of illegal immigrants driving without valid licenses, and expansive confiscation laws, the dragnet enables the city to impound the vehicles and then auction them off after 30 days. According to del Olmo's statistics, the operation is clearly designed as a grab for property and money, not as a method for catching and prosecuting criminals.

Maywood officials told me their town (just over one square mile, population 28,000) has earned about $1 million over the last 3 1/2 years from its share of the fees and fines. [?]

Last year, Maywood police impounded more than 1,800 cars at such roadblocks, intercepted seven drunk drivers and arrested eight other suspects, [Maywood Police Chief Bruce] Leflar wrote [to a state legislator], making the traffic checkpoints "a success."