By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey says his department is keeping a close eye on the steep drop in the number of traffic tickets handed out by officers in the past five years.

Ramsey says he doesn’t have a specific reason for the 35-percent decline in traffic tickets written by the police department since 2007.  But he tells KYW Newsradio that the officers face a “balancing act” in monitoring traffic violations while still dealing with more serious crimes.

Ramsey says he recently reminded officers of the need to be vigilant to all types of crimes.

“We’re going to take a look at it to see where we need to step it up, when it’s associated with traffic accidents and the like,” Ramsey notes, adding, “We have no quotas in terms of tickets, at all.  And we will not establish such a thing.”

Ramsey says he is particularly interested in having his officers ticket driving behaviors that often lead to accidents — such as running lights — as opposed to less dangerous infractions like driving with an expired registration.

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