By on July 26, 2013

43317638

Please welcome my friend “Curvy McLegalbriefs” to TTAC; she’s contributed various background items and photos in the past but this is her first article from scratch for us. Miss McLegalbriefs has been a working attorney for some time now and also has a singing voice that is equal in range to mine but, rather embarrassingly for both of us, starts and ends about a half step below. — JB

The use of quotas in law enforcement has made the news again, but this time it’s a cop, not a citizen, speaking out. More specifically, a police officer claims he was fired for speaking out against quotas instituted by a new chief in 2010.

The town in question is Auburn, Alabama. The city proper has a population of almost 57,000, and Auburn University has approximately 25,000 students. The greater metropolitan area is creeping toward half a million residents. One would assume Auburn is NOT like The Truman Show, and that nonresidents are free to drive through town and break the law, if they so choose.

Obviously the jurisdiction of a town cop is the city limits. So what was this egregious quota imposed on these trusted men and women in uniform? One hundred contacts. Per month. Or approximately 5 per officer per shift. “Contacts” includes tickets, warnings, arrests, and even field interviews.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that my brother is a state patrolman. He’s one of the good guys, TTAC readers; I promise! (I, too, have served for a number of years in law enforcement, but at the federal level, and not as a uniformed officer. It’s my job to make sure my agency follows the law.) I have had the pleasure of going on more than one ride-along with my brother. He patrols the highways, in one of very few unmarked cars remaining in his state. Unless you do something really stupid, have an obvious violation (he is in a state where seatbelt is a primary offense, and after all the years he has been on the road, his ability to see a seatbelt violation across a 4-lane is truly remarkable), or his NCIC terminal tells him something about you that means you shouldn’t be on the road, he will not bother you unless you exceed the speed limit by at least 13 mph. In an average day, he probably has 10+ contacts. (Attempts to get an accurate number for him went unanswered…because he was working.) Going solely on my experiences in the car with him, I have to think that an average of 5 contacts a day is totally reasonable. Especially if it includes warnings and field interviews. So what is the real problem here?

According to the article, the quota requirement means that in a town of 55,000 (college students, who probably provide plenty of opportunities for law enforcement contact — especially on Saturdays during football season — apparently do not count), there are 72,000 mandated contacts in a year. One hundred per month is 1200/year. Doing some division here leads me to believe there are the equivalent of 60 full time police officers in Auburn. Supplemented, I presume, by an independent Auburn University police force.

Auburn PD has 1 officer for every 917 residents. To compare, NYPD (the largest police department in the country) has 1 uniformed officer for every 237 residents. Seattle boasts 1 officer for every 488 expensive coffee lovers. Daytona Beach, which is comparable in size to Auburn, has 1 officer per 253 NASCAR fans. Even Dubuque, IA, also comparable in size and not exactly a hotbed of criminal activity, has one sworn officer for every 632 hearty souls. Auburn’s police-to-population ratio is, in some cases, vastly out of step with other cities.

I cannot imagine that the officers in the departments mentioned above, and those across the nation, are expected to perform, to use a football analogy, an average of less than five law enforcement moves per shift. Maybe Auburn is Seahaven. Maybe even when school is in session. But somehow, I doubt it. If there really is so little legitimate police work that an officer cannot be expected to combine traffic stops, case interviews, and arrests at a pace of at least 1 every ninety-six minutes without resorting to “finding violations” or “bullying”, perhaps Auburn should consider reducing the force to a more appropriate size. With the constant growth and militarization of America’s police departments, a reduction in force would be a welcome change.

There are many complaints that can be made about law enforcement officers. Some of these guys (and gals) are complete and utter assholes. Others perform with honor, taking to heart their oath to serve and protect. The job should never be about quotas, especially when the department benefits from the revenue (which is not always the case — my brother’s DPS receives nothing from the tickets they write). Quotas, where they exist, should never lead to a situation where you end up with “a policy that encourages police to create petty crimes and ignore serious crimes”. But a quota set this low leads me to believe there are issues other than a minimal amount of contacts to be addressed within the department, like laziness. Unless this is a town with ridiculously low crime and a lot of kittens in need of rescue from trees, it is my guess the people of Auburn are better off without this guy in uniform.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

53 Comments on “Legally Brunette: Alabama Getaway (From Quotas)...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    But one hundred is such a nice, round number! Better start ticketing babies for crying. RESPECT THE NOISE ORDINANCE, JUNIOR.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Maybe I need it spelled out for me, but I had trouble finding the author’s opinion here.

    is it that the lawsuit is frivolous, given that 5 contacts is not unreasonable?

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      I agree, but I also tend to need things to be spelled out for me

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      The author seems to be of the opinion that quotas are OK, so long as the number stipulated is reasonable. She seems not to get (or at least agree with) the point that quotas in and of themselves are a bad thing, regardless of the target number.

    • 0 avatar
      badtzmaru

      Agree, @bryanska. It may be Casual Quibbling Friday for me, but the author states that “Auburn’s police-to-population ratio is, in some cases, vastly out of step with other cities”, implying by that verbiage that the disparity is a bad thing, but then she argues that the disparity should apparently be made even more out of whack, by reducing the number of officers per citizen further. And the statement “… if…an officer cannot be expected to combine traffic stops…” would be more clear if stated “…if… an officer should not be expected to combine traffic stops”. It was mainly for me a case of “multitasking while reading a tiny mobile screen” that cleared up upon re-reading. And I bothered to type this just because I needed to rack up a few more Pedantry Points before the weekend.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I lived there for 6 years and desite LOTS of potential DUIs and speeding, the two things I was pulled over for (and cited for) were:

    1. Expired tag. 20 days late, never got my notice in the mail, and being a lazy college student, I never kept up with things like that. The fine was more than the cost of the renewal.

    2. Illegal right on red, which I had done hundreds of time and took for granted. This was treated as the equivalent of running a red light (even though it was a full stop, with good traffic visibility and no recklessness). $160, which is like $500 for someone who isn’t a broke college student.

    Yes, there is a college PD who does most of the work on campus, but my impression of Auburn’s city PD is that they mean well, but have so little in the way of complicated issues to solve (homicides can be counted on one hand every year), they have to lower the bar to shooting fish in a barrel — college students and minor infractions.

  • avatar
    raph

    This is the second time I’ve seen cops come forward about ticketing quotas, the first time I read about this was a few years back for a similar situation. Two Los Angeles officers said they had been denied promotions, change of station and I think harassed as well since they didn’t ticket people to meet a quota.

    This reminds me of this past 4th of July weekend, a coupla buddies and I were going out to get something to eat making a left onto the main thoroughfare where I had spotted a local cop checking us out (me in the GT500 and my buddy in his Terminator.

    Sure enough he fell in behind us and cut on the lights pulling my buddy over. His car is fitted with SLP Loudmouths and an uncatted X-pipe, effectively its a straight through system with megaphones at the end. I thought for sure he had been popped for that. Instead the cop looks over the car for a good 15 minutes and gives him a few tickets for an obscured plate and headlight and taillight covers (the headlights were aftermarket tinted units with a DOT number and the rears are factory tinted lenses but not obnoxiously so (you can still see the bulbs despite the tint as well as operation during the day).

    The cop never checked the tint on my buddy’s car (not legal nor did he ticket him for not having a front plate as well).

    This guy’s activities just reeks of trying to meet a quota.

  • avatar

    If police need to meet quotas, in most places all they need to do is give tickets for failing to signal turns and lane changes. It’s absolutely unnecessary to not signal – and absolutely worthy of ticketing.

    I can see why people can get upset about slight speeding in an area where the speed limit is lower than the engineered speed of the road – that’s frustrating. But there is never a point to not signalling except laziness.

    Given the propensity with which people fail to signal here, I can easily conclude that we have no quota system here.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Ticket quotas are just evil. The problem is there is no real check or balance on PDs trying to make money. i have witnessed the Army promote behavior of deferring maintenance to save money on equipment that is in high alert status units. And, I have received a totally bogus ticket where a limit sign was pulled down (everyone who fought it won, but how many just paid?). The idea that there are PDs all over the country where anyone planning a career to retirement better go along and print enough money is easy to accept.

    Unless a jurisdiction gets totally out of hand with it, nothing will be done to stop it.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    What is the point of this article? Clear as mud.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    So the author is in favor of ticketing/arresting/interviewing 72,000 times/year in a town of 55,000 (which includes kids, elderly and such)?

    The average adult citizen then gets police intervention twice per year.

    I wasn’t aware that Auburn had such an unruly population.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Well Auburn is not a bubble, people from out of town can go(through) there and get ticketed too.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      The problem starts when you use the word “intervention” which has a negative connotation. If a “contact” means any contact with the general public that is recorded and the quota system treats them all equally, then it really is very little more than a way to verify that the officer isn’t sleeping on the job (for the whole shift).

      “Helped student change a flat tire”
      “Helped new parent ensure car seat properly installed in vehicle”

      etc.

      Two positive interactions with the police per adult per year goes a long way toward making a city a nicer place to live and definitely reduces the “us vs. them” mentality that had lead to a militarization of the police force and widespread contempt and distrust of police by the general public.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I disagree. The problem starts when any organization makes supposedly objective goals which are used to conceal less than benevolent goals such as boosting revenue by increasing enforcement or allowing managers to push agendas not in the interest of the company or the public.

        It’s a stupid goal, and it should be obvious evidence of poor leadership and/or corruption to anyone with any experience in these types of things. I don’t believe for a second that an officer whose contacts rarely resulted in accomplishing what the boss REALLY wants would get a promotion or even avoid harassment.

        • 0 avatar
          yesthatsteve

          It seems to me the purpose of a quota for recordable “contacts” is data collection. WTF do they do with the data?

          If it is actually about holding individual officers accountable for what they do on shift, then that’s a personnel problem, not a policy problem, and should be treated as such.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You never know the real reason for such policies. There is an ostensible reason, and then likely a real reason. Perhaps it is actually about holding officers accountable. In that case, the department lacks proper management and leadership because they clearly aren’t capable of doing their jobs. So the ostensible reason would be to promote activity, and the real reason would be the department lacks solid leadership or they wouldn’t need a stupid quota.

            See what I mean, now?

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      “According to the article, the quota requirement means that in a town of 55,000 (college students, who probably provide plenty of opportunities for law enforcement contact — especially on Saturdays during football season — apparently do not count), there are 72,000 mandated contacts in a year. One hundred per month is 1200/year. Doing some division here leads me to believe there are the equivalent of 60 full time police officers in Auburn.”

      I don’t know what the 100 per month is, but 5 contacts a day * 365 days * 60 officers = 109,500 ~ 2 “contacts” per person per day. I don’t like seeing my family twice a day, let alone the police.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Yea I don’t get it, what’s the point here? Is it the author’s opinion that the quota is too low? too high? Quotas are bad? Auburn has too many officers? Too few people? What about out of town visitors? I assume Auburn is a lot like Gainesville, which can double the population on game day. Is there a highway going through city limits that the police patrol? Did she get a ticket and is just pissed off?

    5 contacts a day seems low compared to the author’s brother, so what’s the big deal? Sounds like this might just be a way to ensure the cops aren’t parked side-by-side behind a donut shop shooting the breeze all day. Technically “contacts” are not tickets, so is there even a quota here? Heck, in a one hour commute I can easily find at least 5 traffic violators that deserve to be pulled over and at least warned, and traffic violations are only a part of a police officer’s duty.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Based on the time I’ve spent visiting my aunt in Auburn, I’d say it’s a pretty peaceful, low crime area. As ash78 points out, it seems like the biggest law enforcement concern there should be DUI prevention and arrests. (I’ve seen people openly drinking beer while driving through town.) As such, I’m not sure a quota system would accomplish much more than setting the scene for the police to harass and annoy innocent people.

    But that’s purely anecdotal – perhaps the crime rate stats would paint a different picture.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Ouch ;

    ” There are many complaints that can be made about law enforcement officers. Some of these guys (and gals) are complete and utter assholes. Others perform with honor, taking to heart their oath to serve and protect. ”

    I work daily with the L.A.P.D. and being a large department , of course there are some really childish Officers in the mix but , I have also lived in third world sh*tholes where the Law Enforcement is corrupt or non existent , trust me , you’d rather have your bubba donut stealing crooked rural copper than the other way .

    HANDY TRAVELER TIP : know how to do field repairs on Harley- Davidson Motocycles and the local Gendarmes in Centro America where the Capitan steals mo$t of the maintenance budget , will love you .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      bjchase55

      “I work daily with the L.A.P.D. and being a large department , of course there are some really childish Officers in the mix but , I have also lived in third world sh*tholes where the Law Enforcement is corrupt or non existent , trust me , you’d rather have your bubba donut stealing crooked rural copper than the other way.”

      True. But that doesn’t mean that Bubba the donut stealing crooked rural copper is acceptable.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Coming from a family of LEO’s I dont have a bias. In fact, my Dad told me to choose a different path than He, because of the coming “militarization” of law enforcement. I now understand what he meant 30 years ago. Every town around now paints new patrol cars black, with black wheels, tinted windows and black ghost door banner I.D’s. The days of the friendly cop are gone, replaced with the foaming at the mouth, constitution violating, war vets. No, they are not all bad yet, but the days of telling your kids to find a cop when they need help are gone. Just find an adult, your chances are just as good. Could you imagine a department downsizing? Or reducing quota’s that “dont exist”?

    • 0 avatar
      Legally Brunette

      The public safety commissioner in my brother’s state pulled all but 1 unmarked car per post off the road, so that means somewhere around 15 unmarked for the whole State Patrol. He is moving the opposite direction of what you describe. Your scenario is a terrifying prospect to anyone who values freedom and liberty. As for imagining a world where small towns don’t have SWAT teams, DHS doesn’t have small tanks, and the Dept of Education doesn’t carry guns and bust down doors (to the wrong house) in search of someone behind on their student loan payments? A girl can still dream, right?

  • avatar
    Summicron

    “Could you imagine a department downsizing?”

    Oh, hell yes. That’s the looming threat, not militarization. Municipalities aren’t getting any richer nor the violent class smaller.

    But even disagreeing, I have to salute your very prescient Dad. The growing lethality of the perps definitely militarizes things.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    At least some of the bad ones get released. The town I grew up in (moorestown nj) had to let an officer go just a few years back for doing the hibity jibity with a cow while his gf watched. No joke, google it. No word on if he was militarized! lol

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I, too, was confused at to the point of this article. Here in The Capital of the Free World, we have police coming out of all of our body orifices: Park Police, Capitol Police, Executive Protective Service Police (they are stationed near embassies) and good ol’ DC Police; and not counting assorted spooks and plainclothes folks of various persuasions.

    I assume the quota is some sort of management tool, and the idea of “contact” rather than “citation” is a good one. After all, beat and patrol cops work independently and there has to be some method of determining that they’re using their time productively.

    Ultimately traffic enforcement is a matter of judgment — you can’t change that. Who is more deserving of being cited: the guy who forgets to signal for a right turn, but makes it legally and safely from the right lane, or the cab who signal a right turn and then makes a left U-turn in the middle of a 4-lane street? I have to admit that I always have the feeling that two groups of dangerous drivers get something of a pass from the cops: cabs and truckers. Cabs just do stupid and unpredictable stuff. Truckers just shave the margins too close . . . like following 6 feet behind a car who is already doing 5 over the limit at 65 mph. And a standing joke in my part of the world are speed limit signs that require trucks to go 5 mph slower than cars. As if!

    • 0 avatar
      Legally Brunette

      I lived in the DC area for almost 15 years. Definitely law enforcement everywhere, but I only got pulled over once – by the Park Police right by National airport, for a blown tail light. I used to fly between NoVa and Williamsburg during law school, regularly exceeding the 65 mph limit on 95/64 by 20+, which is reckless driving ticket territory in the Commonwealth. Not a single stop. Only other stop, ever, was an expired safety inspection sticker by a Williamsburg cop. They really had nothing better to do.

      It is interesting that I’ve never been pulled over for speeding. I don’t know how much is discretion and how much is luck (a trooper had me dead-to-rights going 90 on I-95). But discretion is a large part of the unfairness, whether real or perceived, in enforcement. A coworker told me today that at some point (maybe still) in Charleston, WV the police had to indicate race (only options being black or white) on every stop to check for profiling. A measure as frought with potential problems as quotas.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        Your account surprises me. I grew up in NC, went to college in VA, then returned to NC where I still live. Around here VA has a reputation of bring a speed nazi state. And that’s not just among Tarheels who don’t get the same breaks north of the border that we routinely get at home…native Virginians I know agree with this.

        • 0 avatar
          Legally Brunette

          The last few years I lived in the area I didn’t drive as fast because I had to report every contact with law enforcement to my employer. Before that, I cannot explain. Perhaps I was just really lucky. I’m not going to complain!

        • 0 avatar
          David Hester

          Yeah, VA has a rep for heavy- handed traffic enforcement, even among cops. Ohio does as well.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            All I have to do is speak the “E” word to out-of-staters and they cringe:

            “E M P O R I A”

            It totally blows my mind to see people whose most ingrained memory of this state is getting a ticket in Emporia.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    This is a pro police state article. Truly Sad

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      TTAC is and has always been a very freedom-leaning publication, but our B&B have asked for some more balance in that regard. Rest assured, I’m still out there doing an aero-limited indicated 170 in my 911 with my middle finger out the window.

    • 0 avatar
      Legally Brunette

      I said toward the end, “perhaps Auburn should consider reducing the force to a more appropriate size. With the constant growth and militarization of America’s police departments, a reduction in force would be a welcome change.” Advocating and welcoming a smaller police force tends to be the opposite of being pro police state.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        This is happening in a lot of the little fiefdoms I travel throughout the midwest. Wretched little communities whose main source of revenue had become the shaking down of motorists for the slightest infractions, but no more. The realities of the economics of our times have forced these communities to cut services to the bare bones including the police forces. It appears that the “Robin Hood” approach to financially stable government doesn’t work. I now drive through these towns relaxed, without fear of whats behind every tree and billboard.

        I rarely find joy in the misfortunes of others, but… I’m almost giddy about this

  • avatar
    JD321

    Pro Statism in general. Most humans are still primitive tribal emotion-driven animals that demand a violent hierarchy of external authority…It makes the primitive feel better – like a child with a safety blanket. Coming bankruptcies and economic collapse with accompanying political terror will force them to grow up, I reckon.

  • avatar
    Legally Brunette

    I apologize to those who were looking for a stronger, more spelled-out opinion. I know you’re used to reading Jack, who never fails to let you know where he stands on any given issue.

    I am not opposed to quotas in theory, though, in practice they can and sometimes do lead to abuses. I do not agree that they are inherently bad, though they can be instituted for bad reasons or lead to bad results, regardless of any good intention. My opinion in Auburn’s case is that the quota (assuming no bad intent) is not unreasonable; the problem may be the size of the department.

    The size of a law enforcement agency should reflect what is needed to secure public safety, serve as an appropriate crime deterrent (which itself means different things to different people, and is also subject to all sorts of abusive behavior), and solve the crimes which do occur. There is no one-size-fits-all model. When 5 contacts per shift worked leads to an average of 2 contacts per adult resident per year in an area that is apparently generally peaceful and law-abiding, there is clearly a problem. I see two choices: reduce the size of the force to that which is actually necessary and keeps your officers actively working, or remove the quota and keep a force that is, from appearances, too big to provide enough work for the officers.

    As one whose salary is paid by the tax payer, I take seriously that the time I spend at work is in service to my countrymen (which is why I waited until I was home to read comments and write/post responses). As a tax payer, I want a police force which provides the necessary services (like responding to emergencies when we need them) without paying the salaries of people who don’t have enough to do so they sit around all day. Officers “finding” violations is wrong. Speed traps are wrong. Enforcing the law in a discriminatory manner is wrong. The enforcement of laws simply to check a box or raise money is wrong. There are a variety of potential abuses. But maintaining a police force significantly larger then necessary is also wrong, and if that is the case in Auburn, the force should be reduced.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Spoken like a lawyer ha, very middle of the road.

      Quotas are dumb. Why not quotas for larceny or murder?? Why only for civil infractions. I would say the reason for that is because the speed limits are ridiculously low, violation is rampant, and sporadic enforcement is the only way that citizens tolerate it. This is the genesis of “13 over” rules that officers and speed cameras alike adhere to. This puts a huge amount of discretion in the hands of an officer and the quota is one way for management to control that.

      The real solution is road rules/laws that reflect what the populace deems appropriate, not quotas. But we’re set up to have stupidly conservative road rules so here we are.

      PS – Did I miss something with the math? You mention “larger than necessary” Auburn PD, but last I checked 1/917 is the leanest ratio you mentioned, NYP would be about 3 times more officers per capita.

      • 0 avatar
        Legally Brunette

        Speed limits are ridiculously low, though where I live sometimes they are more a dare than a limit due to curves and mountains. And there is a huge amount of discretion when it comes to enforcing traffic laws. It is a definite problem. At the end of the day, it is those whose purses are lined with fines who make the laws and decide the penalties. Fines continue to rise. For some officers, the egregious fines deter them from tickets and lead them to give more warnings.

        As for quotas for larceny and murder, while a state can decline to prosecute, law enforcement is mandated to investigate crimes with victims. Another lawyerly answer.

        Re: “larger than necessary”, it goes back to the “no one-size-fits-all” point. If there is not enough work to keep your officers actively working, your police force is too big. It doesn’t matter what the ratio is; if you have people constantly sitting around with nothing to do, you’re too big.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Good point on the civil vs criminal, though if as many people were getting away with murder as do speeding they might have quotas!

          In MA we have big speeding fines and mandated surcharges that remind you for 6 years what you did once. And 55 mph limits in most places.

          Understood about the ratios, it just seemed counter-intuitive to your point, and not sure I would agree filling a ticket quota is “doing something” how about an “engaging with community quota” that might work better. Policing shouldn’t be judged by motor vehicle violations especially when you are not highway patrol.

          • 0 avatar
            Legally Brunette

            Thanks for the reminder to avoid MA!

            I agree that driving violations alone shouldn’t be the full measure of policing outside of the highway patrol, regardless of whether quotas exist.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          “law enforcement is mandated to investigate crimes with victims”

          Well, “investigate” is a rather loose term. If you google “Avery Wood Jacksonville murder”, well that SOB stole my wallet out of my house last year. All I got from police in 2 different cities (here where he stole it and the city where he used a stolen credit card to buy gas & Spice) was the freaking runaround. After way too many unreturned phone calls and a total feeling of “law enforcement” not giving a rat’s ass, I was forced to let it go.

          Ironic that had they done something then, this hoodlum might have done some time and those two guys might still be alive now? I wish so badly I could remember the names of the d-wads “handling” my case so I could rub in their faces the end result of their ineptitude and apathy.

          Those of us who don’t care for the police have a pretty strong sentiment that the only way to get their attention is to either kill someone or drive too fast. Sucks when that gets proven true.

    • 0 avatar
      David Hester

      You say that “officers “finding” violations is wrong.” Are you essentially claiming that proactive policing is “wrong?” Or are you trying to make a distinction between proactive police work that uncovers legitimate violations of law that might have remained hidden as opposed to rogue officers making up offenses out of whole cloth? If you mean the latter, than “manufacturing” might have been a better word to use than “finding” in your quote above.

      • 0 avatar
        Legally Brunette

        Nothing against police doing appropriate investigative work. Manufacturing offense is partially what I was aiming at.

        It is almost impossible to go through a day in America without violating some law or regulation. People are being arrested for breaking arcane or unknown laws/regulations without knowing they had done anything wrong. If police (or federal agents or regulatory enforcers) want to invest the resources to doggedly investigate someone, odds are pretty good they will find a chargeable offense. That’s what I meant by “finding”. But that is probably beyond the scope of a piece on quotas.

        • 0 avatar
          jimbob457

          The late, great economist, Jane Jacobs out of Toronto nailed it in one of her books (sorry, I have forgotten its title). Quotas are generally not a good way to manage a law enforcement or military force (see, ‘body counts’ in Nam).

          They might have some limited utility for a short time, but don’t expect too much from them. It is just way too easy a system to ‘game’ – a bit like standardized testing in elementary schools.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Years ago the WA state patrol announced that they were replacing quotas on the number of tickets a trooper must write with a quota on the number of “contacts” they must make. This after years and years of officially denying that ticket quotas existed.

    This is a timely article as today I noticed the end of month atttempt to meet their quotas. In two places, one about a 1/2 mile south, and another about a mile north of the station, officers were sitting appearing to be trying to catch red light runners.

    • 0 avatar
      Legally Brunette

      I was driving through SE Ohio this afternoon, and in the space of one small town there were 3 cops on the side of the road “observing” traffic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an officer in that town previously, so meeting quotas may have been their game.

      • 0 avatar
        David Hester

        They could have been. Or they could have been out there looking for a specific subject in response to some specific incident that you know nothing about. If it is abnormal for that many officers to be out during that time of day on a Saturday, than I would deduce that they had a specific reason for being out there that’s not generic revenue generation. If the administration runs a quota game or the town wants revenue generation, you’d see them out there more often.

        They could be out to work a specific traffic enforcement detail. If that was the case, you probably would have seen at least one of them actually out making a stop, not just sitting.

        Seeing three of them at different intervals, but with no stops ongoing, suggests to me that they were lined up either establishing a perimeter for something happening off of the roadway or they were waiting and observing for something that might have been expected to be coming down that roadway, like a specific stolen car.

        • 0 avatar
          Legally Brunette

          Absolutely. Could have been any number of things. If only one of them could have helped the driver in front of me who didn’t know that once in the roundabout, you have right-of-way. :)

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Or maybe they were getting ready to set up a gestapo checkpoint for seatbelt violations and excessive Burger king wrappers on the floor.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India