Seems like someone is always claiming the police have quotas, and the reason for tickets is to generate revenue. Of course, I know both are false, but am I the only one that knows this?
Has anyone ever had an open book test in school? Everyone does really well, becasue the answers are right in front of you. Traffic enforcement is the same thing. The answers are right in front of you. It is called a DMV Driver Handbook. It tells you about speed limits, red lights, stop signs, drunk driving… all the violations people comment about on here. What am I missing?
My department doesn’t have quotas. As a Sergeant, if I see no activity from an officer for several days, I might have a talk with them. But activity doesn’t have to be in the form of traffic citations. As long as they are doing something, building checks, speaking with kids, patrolling neighbors, car stops where they are issuing warnings, I could care less.
I have a friend who works for another local department. They have a motto ":Two citations a day keeps the Sergeant away":. While not a exactly quota, an officer is expected to issue 2 citations a day to stay off the sergeants bad side. Not a big deal. They have 3 highways in their city. An officer can issue two citations for legit law violations in 20 minutes if they wanted to. I’m sure if an officer pressed the issue, the Sergeant couldn’t discipline them for not issuing the citations. But most officers don’t have a problem with it because they would generally write more then 2 a shift, even without pressure.
Thats what the public doesn’t seem to understand. When people hear things like ":An officer has to issue 30 citations in a month":, they freak out because 30 seems like a lot. Two summers ago, I worked a state grant for speed enforcement. I wrote 20 citations in one shift on the interstate…The slowest speed I wrote a ticket for was 15 miles an hour over the limit. And on most citations, I reduced the speed I wrote the ticket for to 10 miles an hour to save people money. It is extremely easy to find law violations if you look.
Finally, I have another friend who works for the Kansas Highway Patrol. They have performance standards. (like 4 a shift) But warnings and citations count the same. So there is no pressure from the state to issue a lot of citations if they chose not to.
The issue of quotas is largely based on public ignorance and people simply wanting to believe something without facts to back it up.
Added: BTW: Why shouldn’t officers have performance standard?. My department is in a county that has a reputation for having lazy deputies and the sheriff letting them get away with that. Do you want to pay $100,000 (between pay, health insurance, retirement, gas, equipment ect) out of your taxes to an officer that isn’t doing anything…like make the roads safer.
Every other job I worked has had performance standards. Why not policing? I agree the whole job shouldn’t be focused on tickets, but most accidents are caused by someone breaking a traffic law………
When you do certain kinds of ‘commercial’ driving, as a person who has to drive 20 times more miles per year than the average individual, you get to see the world differently.
With all due respect Trooper, two of the three times that i recieved ‘unjust’ speeding tickets, it was near the end of the month (the last few days of the month). By ‘unjust’, i simply mean that I was doing LESS than the speed limit (75kph in a 80) and yet got tickets saying i was doing well over the limit (as high as125kph in one instance).
The third instance wasn’t really ‘unjust’. I was doing 60kph in an 50kph zone, but the COP showed me a device that said 85 kph. I will admit that I was STILL speeding so i cant cry the same way, but the fact is that the GUN showed something factually IMPOSSIBLE.
I am NOT in the USA, but the principle is still the same. Too many officers on (Y!A and elsewhere) assume that all the OTHER officers in the streets follow the same rules. I AM ABSOLUTELY SURE that some don’t, and that is EXACTLY why there are people on here who are so passionate about the traffic ticket system being unfair.
Its hard to say that NO police in the USA or anywhere else in the world have ‘qoutas’ when the people driving the most see evidence to suggest that, at least unofficially, there IS a qouta in some places.
Personally, i dont count on the ‘judge’ or the officers or the ‘DMV’ book to avoid tickets or to be safe. That alone WILL NOT WORK. For me true ‘safe driving’ includes deliberate ticket avoidance techniques of every kind imaginable, in addition to all the things you do to protect life.
Not to disagree with you, but there is such a thing as a quota, and citations are used to generate revenue in many cases. Maybe the wording is different, but the end result is the same thing. Traffic enforcement is part of an Officers job description. How can a trained individual go through a whole day, and not observe a traffic violation?. Possible, not probable. If someone is asked to write a certain amount of citations a week because of statistics. Is that a quota?, or just justifying your existence?. If you are told to write a city instead of a state violation because the fines received do not benefit the city. Isn’t that generating revenue?. I have a lot of factual stories, but I don’t wish to bother any one with them. Other than for the obvious reasons such as protecting life, limb, and property. There is a quota, otherwise it would never be suggested that a citation be issued. Tickets do generate revenue, otherwise, the fine would never have been invented.
Departments do not have quotas. My supervisors, including the Sheriff, could not force me to write tickets. The decision to write a ticket was completely up to me. It is called discretion. When I first started I wrote more tickets. As the years passed I found myself writing fewer tickets. The tickets that I did write were to people that I had pulled over previously for the same infraction.
In response to the posters that state that they were pulled over for 4 mph over. Personally I made stops at 15 mph over. If it was slow then I would sometimes drop that to 10 mph over. Of course failure to signal, not coming to a complete stop, improper registration were always good stops.
People must realize that traffic stops serve two purposes. Reactive and proactive policing. Reacting to people breaking the motor vehicle code making it dangerous for other drivers and pedestrians and proactive in possibly locating someone with an outstanding warrant or revoked or suspended license.
As in any profession there are good apples and bad apples. The officers that you are all complaining about are the same officers that will run to help you in dangerous situations. These officers run to danger while you are running away from it. Traffic enforcement is only a small part of the overall job of a law enforcement officer.
As for speeders, all officers in my agency used the same threshold of 15 mph over. Other agencies nearby that threshold sometimes was 5 mph. I am not saying that I disagree with 5 mph, I am just saying that I personally could not and would not stop for 5 mph over unless other infractions were present. Some officers within my department would go through a ticket book a week and others would take a month. One supervisor had the same ticket book for 3 years.
And for all those people complaining about being stopped for going 4 mph over and being ticketed. That is called an attitude ticket. I would be willing to bet that your attitude on the traffic stop was not the greatest. All I ask is why you would be a jerk to the officer that decides whether or not you receive a ticket?
I work for a PD and enter the tickets in the system. There is no quota. I think it’s humurous when people insist that there is.
It’s like when you buy a car, you see a bunch of that car after the fact. You just think you see more cruisers on the road later in the month. Those guys are on shift and have the same schedule all month!
I think that most people that have bad attitudes towards cops are just uspet when they’ve been caught. If I got pulled over for a traffic violation I’d just realize that the cop is doing his job. If he wasn’t out there and someone sped and caused an accident, everyone would be saying, ":Where was he at???": Cops can’t win, if they do their job people are angry with them. If they’re not there to prevent a crime people are angry that they weren’t there.
I got pulled over in the city I work for, I was speeding at 3 a.m. (sober as I was the designated driver for a friend’s bachelorette party). I got off with a verbal warning but I was already willing to accept the fact that I did speed and if the officer decided to give me a ticket I deserved it.
I’m betting that quotas vary from place to place, and station to station, and are labeled or enforced in many ways. Yes, I acknowledge that it is unlikely that an officer wouldn’t encounter a certain number of violations in any given period, but having a requirement for a specific number also denys the possibility that any time could occur when people actually follow the rules. Is that right? That would tend to support the accusation that the laws are set up to be such that it’s impossible to avoid violating SOME law just by driving. I personally have no problem with speeding tickets issued by moving patrolmen…I was ticketed by one such a couple years ago…but stationary speedtraps bother me, because the officer isn’t moving about, and therefore isn’t keeping much of an eye out for anything I’m really concerned about, such as drunk drivers, carjackings, robberys, etc. I personally don’t care about the guy or gal going 15 miles over the speed limit, even though I know that speeding in that way does nothing to save any time on any trip short of several hundred miles. What I’m concerned about are the drivers weaving in and out of traffic, or riding the tail of the car in front of them, or trying to multitask while driving. To get those you have to be moving…and you can still get a good performance review.
I do not believe that all police departments have quotas. Just as not all police officers have huge egos and are rude.
I do think that there are some departments that do insist that an officer does write a certain amount of tickets, why this is I have no idea.
What difference does it make any way, quota or no quota if you get caught speeding, you are in the wrong..suck it up!
Yes police having their monthly quota’s seem to be a belief in my city! I think it’s because we actually see them in large numbers on particular days of the month where we may go a long time without seeing them at all. If you drive the same highway every day and don’t see them but once a month then yes we tend to believe that they must have some quota to meet. It’s a monthly habit here. Someone has to send them out to patrol the highways and it’s not a daily routine. I think that is why people think that way.
As far as the open book test comment. Driving is a privilege and we act as if we have the right. When we are pulled over for running a stop sign we get pissed at law enforcement. However, when we run a stop sign and accidentally hit a pedestrian, then we think how stupid we are. It’s silly!
I do not agree with those people. Most people forget that driving is a privilege, not a right.
I have worked full time in Fire/EMS for 17 years … have tons of friends who are in law enforcement. None of them speak of quotas and revenue. They merely enforce traffic laws as they happen. I do know that during down time during the shift that an officer may focus on traffic violators … namely speeders. But its hardly for revenue or quotas and more of a ":you better have something to show for your down time on your log for the day":. Darn those guys at the top of the chain of command … Its all thier fault! LOL!
I know police officers don’t really like giving out traffic tickets nor traffic patrol. However, there is plenty of confusion and sometimes, ":admissions": to quotas needing to be met. They’re not called ":quotas": but, officers must write a certain amount of tickets per month or face disciplinary action. It’s always denied, but the facts speak for themselves. More tickets are written at the end of a month. Why is that? Do all people become boneheaded drivers all of a sudden? No. Just my opinion, no offense intended.