Georgia Officer Fired For Not Writing A Ticket

An Alpharetta police officer was fired after he didn't write a minor citation.

Alpharetta, GA – An Alpharetta police officer was fired after he didn’t issue a traffic ticket to either driver following a minor collision.

WGCL reported that the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety requires officers to write a traffic citation for every vehicle collision they respond to in the community.

No ticket is required if drivers swap info and resolve the incident themselves, but the minute a police officer gets asked to write a police report, issuing a ticket to the driver at fault becomes automatic, regardless of the circumstances, WGCL reported.

So when the department recently found out that Alpharetta Police Officer Daniel Capps hadn’t issued a ticket to Charles Westover after a minor fender-bender, the officer was summarily fired.

Westover was very upset to learn that Officer Capps had been fired after not writing him a ticket for the slow-speed crash that only damaged the cars’ bumpers.

"I was pretty appalled, I am appalled. That doesn't seem right to put that kind of mark on this gentleman's life," Westover told WGCL.

"To have a blanket policy that applies to all kinds of incidents, doesn't make a lot of sense to me," he said.

Westover said the officer was “extremely courteous. Very professional, acknowledging it was a minor fender bender and there was no need to issue a ticket." He said the driver of the car he’d hit didn’t want a ticket to be issued, either.

But according to a memo issued by Alpharetta Police Lieutenant James Little, anytime there is "damage that needs to be fixed with more than a little wax and elbow grease, you need to write the citation," WGCL reported.

Alpharetta Assistant City Manager James Drinkard responded to WGCL’s request for information about Officer Capps’ termination, and said that the failure to write Westover a ticket was simply the final straw in a series of problems.

“While the decision to terminate employment was based, in part, on the former employee’s decision to ignore lawful departmental policy and refuse to properly cite at-fault drivers who caused traffic crashes that resulted in property damage, that behavior was part of a pattern of performance and poor decision making that was simply not acceptable,” Drinkard wrote.

“The City of Alpharetta makes no apology for holding our personnel responsible for properly carrying out their assigned duties, being stewards of the public trust, and advancing our mission to enhance the quality of life of our residents, businesses, and visitors,” the statement read.

WGCL requested and reviewed Officer Capps’ personnel record over the past nine years with the Alpharetta police, and found the following:

  • He was once written up for wearing earrings, a violation of the department's dress code.
  • Officer Capps was written up once for leaving his gun unattended on the police range during training.
  • He was written up for occasionally stopping to use the bathroom at his house, instead of using public restrooms on his beat.
  • Officer Capps was written up when he returned a teenager caught shoplifting to her parents, rather than putting her straight in jail, after he arrested her.
  • He was written up in January for not writing enough tickets.

When he received discipline for not writing enough tickets, Officer Capps talked to several colleagues about it, and asked if they thought the lieutenant’s policy was fair. Some of the other officers were in agreement with him about the problems with the policy.

But when Lt. Little found out about those conversations, Officer Capps got in trouble for attempting to undermine his authority and was suspended, according to WGCL. He was later terminated from the police department.

The Alpharetta Municipal Court’s chief judge told the news station that it’s not his job to have an opinion on police policies, when he was asked what he thought of the ticket-writing rule.

However, the chief judge also said he hadn’t known about the police department’s ticket policy.

Blue Lives Matter reached out to former Officer Capps for comment, but did not receive a response.

Comments (15)
No. 1-15

I was once driven off the road up over the curb by a young and apparently new driver and the officer who arrived didn't want to give the kid a ticket because he was young, inexperienced and the officer felt sorry for him. I was able to avoid a collision by moving out of the way. However, I was worried about the damage done to my tires and undercarriage. So, I insisted that for insurance purposes a ticket was indeed necessary as the kid crossed 3 lanes of traffic very fast with no consideration of other vehicles on the road. Experience is a good teacher, and tickets a great reminder to be careful. All that being said, it's sad that this officer lost his job when both parties were in agreement that a ticket was not needed. Sometimes laws, rules, regulations are just too anal.


Stupid move Georgia!

Lt Retired OCPD
Lt Retired OCPD

I don’t know about Georgia but in Pa. it is unlawful for the municipality to require a quota. All citations in my career were officers discretion. The bosses could advise that it would be a”good idea” in some cases but never could they require citations.


Municipalities making decisions like these are one of the prime reasons that young people are growing up hating authority. Because of these rules police officers are forced to do things that they know will have negative results down the road. When you force quotas on ticket issuing you alienate the public toward your police force and people will receive tickets that they don't deserve. Final result is that people will start avoiding your town for shopping or anything else. The income you thought you were generating will disappear. Not to mention that its morally wrong.


It's unlawful in America to put a quota on tickets. If I'm not mistaken, it's a POBAR violation. And based on those 'offenses' his former department gave as to why the let him go, i say he has a pretty good chance to sue. Unless he was on probation at the time of the termination, then he is SOL.