Upon leaving the service I was fortunate enough to secure a position with the Monterey Police Department and stayed there for over five years before moving on to San Diego PD. Early on in my Monterey career patrol officers were advised of "minimums". "Minimums" being contacts, more precisely TICKETS. Supervisors never specifically advised us of "quotas" but officers were placed into competition with winners and high producers being rewarded with official time off.  Well, upon taking my commission with San Diego PD a very similar directive was given to the new patrol officers and more senior ones as well. "Write More TIckets!" At the end of each shift each officer had to fill out a small orange card indicating the number of contacts he or she produced during that work period with emphasis on moving violations which always resulted in MONEY. This went on for quite a few years until Public Relations and Political Correctness raised its ugly head and the orange cards were pulled. The emphasis on tickets remained however and some officers, particularly motorcycle officers, were counted as highly successful in this area.

Just read a "news" item regarding a "former" Alabama police officer - I say "former" because he has been canned - who was instructed to make at least 100 contacts each month, again with emphasis upon citations. Because he had a moral objection to this instructions, realizing that in truth it was primarily to produce revenue for the City. He was told that if he didnt "produce" he would never be promoted, he would receive bad evaluations and would certainly be fired.

The City Manager acknowledged that the "quota" had in fact been conveyed to officers but then the Department began its Moon Walk, backtracking to dodge the controversy. That being said and done, the officer was ultimately fired anyway. And, by way of retaliation, officially labeled a "Whistle Blower" precluding employment at any other police departments or government jobs because his former department made sure everyone knew he was NOT a team player and that he refused to obey a directive that was illegal to begin with. Thus the Moon Walking and the Retaliation.
Now many police departments, primarily the smaller ones with much smaller revenue bases, but I would submit most of the larger ones as well, follow this same scheme to make money. There is a small town I know of in Texas that routinely and is widely acknowledged for running a "speed trap" along the state highway that goes along their border. The purpose being to stop and write tickets to "speeders" not even in their jurisdiction. I have personally spoken with some of the officers who, like the Alabama officer, do not like the matter but conform to keep their poorly paying jobs by bringing in money for the town with speeding tickets illegally issued. Drivers are cited for going ONE MILE over the speed limit and above! By the way, should a cited person take the citation to court they are generally dismissed as being non-jurisdictional but the practice goes on because few bother to go to court.

The long running joke about cops and quotas and toaster ovens continues to this day but in reality these quotas really do exist. All are denied and most are completely and totally unofficial but should an officer or officers go a full month warning speeding drivers rather than issuing citations, well now what do YOU think will be the results? I know. I was counselled many times regarding "Not enough moving citations" but I just really never gave a damn and refused to play the game. Most officers, however, do give a damn and, concerned about promotions and good transfers, DO play the game. There are ALWAYS the denials and the Moon Walking by the departments when the word is put out to the public and the unofficial retaliation. "Pass Overs" are never attributed to failure to adhere to the quota system. Generally termination is pretty drastic but certainly promotions are lost, that transfer to detectives just never seems to appear. What do you think?

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