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  #1  
Old 03 March 2010, 10:50 PM
Ana Ng's Avatar
Ana Ng Ana Ng is offline
 
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Default NYC cop confirms ticket quotas?

The few times I've gotten tickets (and luckily never in NYC) someone will always mention supposed ticket quotas in commiseration. ABC News posted this link, wherein a cop supposedly says the quotas are not an "urban myth."

Quote:
"Our primary job is not to help anybody, our primary job is not to assist anybody, our primary job is to get those numbers and come back with them?" said Officer Polanco.

Eyewitness News asked, "Why do it?"

"They have to meet a quota. One arrest and twenty summonses," said Officer Polanco.
Quote:
Reached for comment, the NYPD said: "Police Officers like others who receive compensation are provided productivity goals and they are expected to work."
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  #2  
Old 03 March 2010, 11:06 PM
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If it is a quota, arbitrarily set for the purposes of revenue raising, it is inappropriate. If it is an estimation of the amount of work an officer will generate (on average) if they are working at the expected rate of efficiency then it is quite reasonable. People often confuse the two ideas.

Dropbear
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  #3  
Old 03 March 2010, 11:15 PM
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Johnny Slick Johnny Slick is offline
 
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I worked with a former police officer around 15 years ago who confirmed the quota thing, at least in his area. I currently work with a guy who works part-time for a city police force (the guy I worked with was on the highway patrol for the state) and just as vehemently denies any such quotas. I imagine some places do it, some do not.

I don't see the big deal. If you're covering a stretch of territory that the area knows has X traffic incidents in a month and you only get 50% of X, it's grossly unlikely that this stretch of land suddenly became properly law-abiding. This behavior may make the police department money as well but the primary job is to ensure that the law is being enforced. Where it can fall apart, I guess, is with a guy who sloughs off 10% of the time but then gets overzealous the other 90%, giving tickets out that he wouldn't normally give except for the quota. Even there, though, it's unlikely you're going to get pulled over unless you were actually doing something wrong; it makes little sense to pick a driver out of traffic for no good reason.

It's a bit like sales commissions, actually. Yes, they cause a small minority of sales reps to do unscrupulous things and a larger group to behave a bit more assertively, which some people don't like (but which gets the company money, which is what, after all, salespeople are paid to do), but they also incentivize people who might otherwise find a way around doing their job when not being monitored to do it anyway. The best answer to "why" is that it works.
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  #4  
Old 04 March 2010, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Slick View Post
This behavior may make the police department money as well but the primary job is to ensure that the law is being enforced.
I think the money concerns could be lessened by having all traffic fines go the state, which would redistribute the money using a formula that disregards (or at least mitigates the influence of) the recorded number of violations that took place. I would base it primarily on the amount of traffic in the area, since I find it unlikely that there's really that much variance in how bad drivers are in different areas. (I'd probably also not let traffic on freeways count unless there were at least 3 exits within the jurisdiction, and use the boundaries from 10 years ago to determine whether or not a road counts, so that cities don't have an immediate incentive to annex a tiny slice of a busy road in order to get more funding.)

Of course, then you'll get some departments that will slack off on enforcing traffic laws because they'll get a slice of the pie no matter what. (But that brings up the question of whether or not they were in it for the law enforcement in the first place.)

Then there are some small towns that might see their funding drop precipitously*, because they bring in an inordinate amount of money from the slice of interstate highway that they can't even access from the village. They might even cease to exist. I see that as more of a positive thing, though.

*The law mentioned in the article was overturned.
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  #5  
Old 04 March 2010, 07:34 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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The problem with quotas like these are that they discourage preventive work, as preventing crime will make the quotas harder to fill.
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  #6  
Old 15 May 2010, 03:55 AM
Buckworth Jackson
 
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Default RE: Quotas

First a bit of background: I'm retired sheriffs department officer after twenty good and not so good years.
First, all agencies are somewhat different, but I can fill in details as to California only.
I worked for huge Sheriffs Department which borders LA, and we contracted with many - if not most of the cities in the county for Law Enforcement.
Yes, there was a serious quota for revenue generating citations, the city managers of the various contracting cities got weekly reports of funds coming via traffic court.
That was weighted against the OVERTIME/Court time paid out to officers who had to deal with contested tickets.
But then the California State legislature threw a curve ball .... the State simply took ALL the fines and forfietures... instead a percentage as previously.
But they threw the cities and counties a bone, wherein if a car was towed by the police they could charge the owner $125.00 'service fee' to get it back.
We've always had a problem with tow companies, as they are allowed to charge about 4.5 times as much as what the Auto Club pays for the IDENTICAL SERVICE.
This of course leads to corruption and ill will from the community, hence certain officers who took kickbacks always focused on the Latino Community, - mainly officers of Latino Heritage - (but I know that in Seattle, WASH., they have a law called "Driving While Black"- they also are famous for kickbacks - funny Seattle is considered the liberal city, but every thing they can do - they do to keep blacks out)
So for the record, my quota for 'revenue generating tickets/citations was 20 per week - which was light as I was a field supervisor-
Normal 'performance standards were: 50 per week for Motor officers, 40 for all patrol officers.
Yes, the officers hate it, but it does drive them to get promoted to Detective where there was no 'performance standard - quotas'.
Will cheerfully fill anyone in on the .gov and cocaine importing Agency from the 80 to early 2008s.
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  #7  
Old 18 May 2010, 07:27 PM
Buckworth Jackson
 
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California's legistlateure tried that, so the cities simply quit writing tickets. So then they allowed the cities to charge $125.00 to get their car back from impound. Of course, as police tows pay 4.5 times as much as auto clubs pay, the corruption just went out of sight.
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  #8  
Old 28 May 2010, 05:09 PM
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TrishDaDish TrishDaDish is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Slick View Post
It's a bit like sales commissions, actually. Yes, they cause a small minority of sales reps to do unscrupulous things and a larger group to behave a bit more assertively, which some people don't like (but which gets the company money, which is what, after all, salespeople are paid to do), but they also incentivize people who might otherwise find a way around doing their job when not being monitored to do it anyway.
"Don't worry sir, the price of the ticket will ride up with wear."
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  #9  
Old 29 May 2010, 08:54 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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I think money collect by fine as a penalty should be divided up and given to non-profit organizations. The purpose of the fine is to pay a penalty and make restitution to the community. I do not see money going to the state or any other government agency as doing that. Plus it will encourage someone at some level of government to see it as a way to increase revenue and that can lead to all kinds of problems.
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  #10  
Old 24 August 2010, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing in the Drizzle View Post
Plus it will encourage someone at some level of government to see it as a way to increase revenue and that can lead to all kinds of problems.

It's an open secret that many of the vendors that provide speed cameras get a kickback.

This is best I could do for a citation.
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  #11  
Old 24 August 2010, 06:14 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
It's an open secret that many of the vendors that provide speed cameras get a kickback.

This is best I could do for a citation.
Isn't that just someone ranting in a blog post?

*ETA: Here's a cite from AAA: AAA: Get rid of money-making speed cameras:

Quote:
In Montgomery County, when a driver passes by a speed camera going more than 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit, that driver is sent a $40 ticket in the mail. However, the controversy has boiled over because the vendor that provides the cameras, ACS, is getting $16.25 per citation.

Last edited by Beachlife!; 24 August 2010 at 06:20 PM.
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  #12  
Old 24 August 2010, 06:40 PM
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lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
It's an open secret that many of the vendors that provide speed cameras get a kickback.
Is it even a secret at all? It was openly discussed by city officials when they had them here.
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  #13  
Old 24 August 2010, 08:56 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Whalephant

The only opinion I'll toss in is: every time I drive on the freeways here in Southern California, I see people breaking laws. Driving MUCH too fast, tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, etc. EVERY TIME! So, whatever the quotas are, they aren't high enough, because so many offenses are going on without being cited.

Silas
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  #14  
Old 25 August 2010, 07:31 AM
john0042
 
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I truly believe that this quotas exist. Maybe they are not strictly noted in job description of every policeman but I'm pretty sure that their bosses give them precise instructions about "quotas".
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