The Rolla City Council passed three ordinances during their August 21 meeting to help local police officers in their duties. The ordinances affect the way local officers write tickets for turn signal violations, as well as allowing officers to handle animal disturbances in a more fair and balanced way.

The Rolla City Council passed three ordinances during their August 21 meeting to help local police officers in their duties. The ordinances affect the way local officers write tickets for turn signal violations, as well as allowing officers to handle animal disturbances in a more fair and balanced way.

The first ordinance passed by the council changes how law enforcement officers will be able to write tickets for turning violations in Rolla. Prior to the ordinance being passed, drivers were only able to be issued tickets at the state level. By allowing law enforcement officers to write municipal level tickets, the process is made much easier for everyone involved.

“If we stop somebody for a failure to signal a lane change, it is a state charge and anything we find, in regards to that stop, has to be a state charge—you can’t split the charges,” said Rolla Chief of Police Sean Fagan, just before the council voted to approve the ordinance.

Rolla Chief of Police Sean Fagan explained that immediately taking a ticket to the state level creates a more time consuming process for both the officer and the driver who received the ticket. Handling these violations at the municipal level at the local courthouse enables the court to work around the schedules of the officers, and less time-consuming all around.

Chief Fagan added that while the revenue from ticket writing isn’t large, it will now be sent to local courts, instead of the state courts. He also assured council members he doesn’t expect this change to influence the number of tickets written by officers.

The second ordinance approved by the council requires two witness or two complaints to be made before taking legal action for an animal disturbance. Chief Fagan said they will still respond to any phone calls, and the officer that arrives on the scene can serve as a second witness.

In a later interview, Chief Fagan gave the example that if someone owns a generally good dog, and that dog loudly responds to a squirrel crossing it’s path, that one incident isn’t going to require the owner to go to court.

Finally, the third ordinance passed amends a technicality affecting owners who are required to remove a dangerous animal from city limits. Prior to the ordinance, owners were given ten days to remove an animal from the city limits if it had been deemed dangerous. However, if the pet owners took the pet outside the city limits, only to return with the pet, they were able to do start the ten day countdown again. The new ordinance prevents this from happening.