St. Louis Circuit Attorney asks for state help in prosecuting traffic tickets

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Highway Patrol is issuing so many tickets for speeding and misdemeanors that the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office can't keep up.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner sent a letter to Governor Eric Greitens, Wednesday, asking him to direct Attorney General Josh Hawley's Office to assist her office with the extra workload.

According to Gardner's office, since the MHP began clocking the stretches if Interstates 55 and 70 that run through The City of St. Louis in July, troopers have issued 3,500 tickets. Gardner said that puts them on track to to add 35,000 tickets or misdemeanors to the Associate Circuit Court docket within one year.

"We are not staffed or funded to handle the additional workload presented by the Missouri Highway Patrol," said Gardner. "The best and most valuable use of our limited resources and manpower is to protect public safety by addressing the rising violent crime facing our community."

Hawley's Deputy Chief of Staff issued this response, "We look forward to reviewing the Circuit Attorney's request. As the Attorney General said, we stand ready to assist the Circuit Attorney's Office in prosecuting violations of Missouri's vandalism and anti-riot laws in connection with the recent violence in St. Louis."

Hawley's office sent a letter to Gardner on Saturday offering to provide "assistance, support and resources necessary to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of the residents of St. Louis."

According to Gardner's office, so far, St. Louis Police have only brought four protest-related cases to her office and she's already issued charges to all four. ​