Prince George's County police issued about 70 percent fewer traffic tickets than normal during the first week of their work slowdowns according to department figures released yesterday.
The county police began a work slowdown on June 30 after contract negotiations between the county and the police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, broke June 29.
Between June 30 and July 6 county police officers issued 280 tickets, compared to 1,011 issued between June 8 and 14, the last week monitored, police officials said yesterday.That means about 40 tickets were issued each day, or an average of eight for each of the five district stations.
County revenues will not be affected by the lack of tickets because all money from traffic violations goes directly to the state.
The slowdown entered its ninth day this morning, with negotiations still talking and the County Council preparing to consider whether to order the negotiators to go to binding arbiration.
The council will consider that question at its meeting Tuesday, although it may delay ruling for another week.
The county's Public Employes Relations Board sent a letter to police organization president Laney Hester and county personnel director Donald Weinberg June 30 directing them to submit the police contract dispute to arbitration, pending council approval.
Council members then decided that the letter did not constitute formal notification from the employe relations board asking for arbitration and the board sent the council a formal request Thursday.
County executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. has said repeatedly since negotiations broke down that under no circumstances will the county submit to binding arbitration.
Kelly says that on the basis of a Harford County court case he believes the county cannot order binding arbitration. In the Harford case, the court found that the council could not order arbitration because it cannot give up its right to set the tax rate. The tax rate could be affected by an arbitrator's decision.
Kelly backs his contention that the council cannot order county employes to submit disputes to binding.
Hester points out, however, that under the county labor code, the council could still reject the arbitrator's findings.
The two sides began negotiating again by phone Wednesday, but are still divided on pay raises for future policemen. The county is willing to give officers hired in the future raises totaling 11 percent. The union wants 20 percent.
Both sides are still hoping a negotiated settlement can be reached next week as a result of therenewed talks.