OK Highway Patrol Explains: Their Credit Card Readers Can’t Seize Money

Once you’ve been around in law enforcement for a while, you get a healthy skepticism for information reported by the media. We get involved in events that the news media reports on, and their report are so far off reality that it makes us wonder if they could really be reporting on the same incident.

About one week ago, the news media was full of reports about the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s new ERAD program, which reportedly allowed them to swipe your credit cards and seize all of your funds. None of these reports made any sense, so we decided not to publish the story until we got all of the information. Today, OHP released the information about the program.

Basically, the program allows law enforcement officers to swipe gift/prepaid cards in the possession of people who are under arrest, and it identifies if the card belongs to them. If the account doesn’t belong to the suspect, then OHP can freeze the account. This only applies to prepaid cards, and the account of credit or debit card holders cannot be affected.

The sensational headlines about OHP seizing money on people’s credit cards made for great ratings, but it has caused irreparable damage to the image of OHP and law enforcement in general. Even if the news media now reports this corrected information (most won’t,) it won’t have the same reach as the original reports where they spread the false information.

We, at Blue Lives Matter, launched this website to avoid exactly this kind of false reporting that damages law enforcement. When the news media lacks details, they make them up. Reporters will always choose to run false information rather than risk letting somebody else beat them to a story.

Bookmark our page and check back daily to get your information from a group of law enforcement officers that value honest factual reporting rather than ratings.