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May 06, 2007

Driving In Denver? Beware of the Ticket Quota Cops

Posted in: Crime

Denver_motorcycle_policeIf you are driving in Denver, Colorado, keep your eyes out for the men in blue. The commander of the traffic operations bureau for the city has publicly announced that their motorcycle officers are expected to write 2 tickets an hour, or 16 traffic tickets for their 8 hour shifts.

This is so wrong on so many fronts. We know that ticket revenue is a big part of police budgets, but to mandate a certain amount of tickets is pure revenue generation. Do you think that a police officer in snowy Colorado is now under the gun to write a ticket on a day when the speed can only go below the speed limit? Or does he drive by a fender bender to get the kid with a tail light out?

Police officers are their to protect the peace and enforce the law. They are not created to be revenue generators and have the pressure to save their jobs by writing tickets.

For about two dozen motorcycle officers, the order is to write 16 tickets for an eight hour shift. Fall short, and they will have to explain their slacking to superior officers.

Captain Eric Rubin, commander of 79 officers in the Traffic Operations Bureau, contends it’s “not a quota,” but he calls it a “measure of performance” for officers whose primary duty is to enforce traffic laws. “It’s a goal we are striving for,” he said. The American Heritage Dictionary defines quota in part as “a production assignment.”

Rubin said he instituted the quota system last September and the 16 tickets per shift for some 26 motorcycle officers was arrived at after six months of studying officers’ typical ticket writing patterns. via CBS4Denver

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