By on October 13, 2008

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Madison Township, Ohio police have issued officer Ken Braden a written reprimanded for failing to write enough traffic tickets. Officer Braden only wrote 85 tickets last year. His most prolific fellow officer wrote 388. And here’s the kicker: Braden’s tied the record for the most criminal arrests. Police Chief Greg Ryan couldn’t give a shit [paraphrasing]. “He gets paid as much as the other officers,” Ryan told the Dispatch. “He should do as much work as the other officers.” According to Chief Ryan, in 2006, his twelve patrol officers wrote 1935 tickets and seized 194 cars (selling 41 of them for profit). And no small part of that “success” is due to Chief Ryan’s 2005 written mandate: “Effective immediately, all uniformed patrol officers are expected, as a minimum level of self-initiated activity, to issue one traffic citation, one traffic warning, and complete five park & walk business checks/residential vacation checks each shift worked,” Ryan’s memorandum stated. The local Fraternal Order of Police union is defending Braden in a complaint against the department. [click here for the full report from thenewspaper.com]

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20 Comments on “Ohio Cop Reprimanded for Not Writing Enough Traffic Tickets...”


  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    “Effective immediately, all uniformed patrol officers are expected, as a minimum level of self-initiated activity, to issue one traffic citation, one traffic warning, and complete five park & walk business checks/residential vacation checks each shift worked,” Ryan’s memorandum stated.

    I don’t have a problem with the policy, but I think the officer’s criminal arrest record should be considered as well. Officers can get one traffic citation a day without worrying about speeders. Just watch for illegal lane changes (in an intersection), tailgating, left lane hogs, etc…

  • avatar
    CarShark

    And what is he supposed to do if/when people aren’t breaking the law when he’s on patrol? Make shit up? THIS is why people trust the police less and less.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    And this corrupt state is the one that might be deciding the election. And people wondered why I avoided that state like the plague when I lived 20 miles south of it. Damn and I’m planning to move back to that area in Kentucky.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    “He gets paid as much as the other officers,” Ryan told the Dispatch. “He should do as much revenue generating citation issuing, as opposed to revenue depleting (jail, prosecutor, public defender) violent offender arresting work as the other officers.”

    TexasAg03 : Officers can get one traffic citation a day without worrying about speeders. Just watch for illegal lane changes (in an intersection), tailgating, left lane hogs, etc… – Unfortunately those offenses are hard to prove, unlike speeding tickets, for which courts have decided that the radar/lazer gun is god.

    A police officer that goes after truly bad drivers will have a lower conviction rate, and thus look worse, than a lazy cop that just hits speeders.

  • avatar

    “To Protect and Serve” becomes “To Generate Revenue.” Amazing.

  • avatar
    menno

    We’re truly on our way, as a nation, eh?

    Have been for some time.

    http://mises.org/books/TRTS/

  • avatar
    rochskier

    Police officers have quotas?

    That can’t be right!

    The government even told me they don’t!

  • avatar
    Mud

    Chief Greg, you’re just nickel and diming this.

    Couple of those red-light cameras installed around town and you guys could all be riding around in new Camaro copcars.

  • avatar
    Orian

    This is pretty much par for the course in a lot of central Ohio areas, South Bloomfield (just south of Columbus) is notorious for that – they are the proud recipients of one of the Dodge Charger police cruisers.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Like I have said many times before: “Ohio is a cop ridden hell hole.”

  • avatar
    Airhen

    From Atlas Shrugged, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. You make so many things illegal that it is impossible to live without breaking laws. Do you really think the government wants those laws to be observed? They want them broken. Who wants a nation full of law abiding citizens?” – Ayn Rand

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    It would be cool if this cop then started following the police chief, Mayor, and city council member. Then pulling them over and giving them his quota of tickets for every violation they make while on the way to work.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Hey c’mon guys give em a break, we’re in a recession, the gov needs to generate tax revenue somehow. God knows they can’t “raise taxes.” Solution: more speeding tickets.

    Plus, here’s a stat for you. Every ticket issued by the Ohio police prevents 7.56 accidents and saves 3.4 baby polar bears. True story. Lost the link though.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    We thank Chief Ryan for his many years of service, and wish him well in his next endeavors wherever they are.

    (translation: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, bucko.)

  • avatar
    50merc

    Another sloppily-written news article. It apppears officer Krumke writes about half as many tickets as the average cops, but that statistic conceals the range. How many citations per man-month? More data, please!

    Similarly, if he “averaged low on his shift in a few categories but was tied for making the most criminal arrests” does that perhaps mean he and another officer logged one arrest each, but none were logged by the other officers? Or maybe he and another made 200 arrests each; all the others 199?

    Oh, and does traffic fine revenue go to the PD/City, or to the courts/state government? If the latter, then there’s no local financial incentive.

    I don’t have a problem with reasonable performance goals. And be wary of Ayn Rand. “Do you really think the government wants those laws to be observed? They want them broken.” [They do? What evidence do you have of that?] “Who wants a nation full of law abiding citizens?” Well, me for one. Who wants a nation full of criminals?

    It seems to me the real question here is how the department “seized 194 cars (selling 41 of them for profit).” How could it not make a profit on the other 153 seized cars? After all, it’s not as if they pay the perps fair market value.

  • avatar
    cgd

    Nice to know that to serve and protect is now to rake in the dough. Law enforcement is already a low-paying, thankless job without boneheads like that police chief worrying more about tickets than (gasp) stopping criminals.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    50merc,

    I appreciate your skepticism!

    However, there must be a reasonable amount of arrests to go along with those car seizures.

    I can assume that the quota is a direct result of a financial incentive, though there is the possibility that there is not one. Texas quickly ended some of our worst speed traps with a law that prevented little towns from keeping money from interstate highway violations.

    As for the seizures that were not profitable, they could have never been sold. Perhaps they had to be returned because the seizure was unjust, or for some other reason. Also, it is possible that the auction price didn’t cover the costs of the process (storage, auctioneer, attourney, clean up, etc.)

    I will give the reporter a pass on the math until it turns out that the story was misleading because of the math. That’s when the problem seems to rear it’s head in modern journalism. The reporters are rarely, if ever, punished for being negligent or stupid. Only when they are found to have been misleading for personal gain, is there any sort of response. As for facts, they may get a slap on the wrist, but so long as they can point to a man on the street who thinks that aliens did it, then they can say, “it’s believed aliens caused the problem.” Like the homeless drunk’s opinion needs to be heard? They really need to get off their arses and demand a standard closer to objective truth, not just reporting opinions and accounts. The standard shot not be that a story be indefensible before it is unpublishable.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    That town has a corrupt police chief because it wants a corrupt police chief.

    The town has the power to remove him, maybe by direct election, or maybe by indirect elecction; I don’t know how Ohio chooses its police chiefs.

    But the big question is will they chosse to correct this madness, or will they be happy to keep going on as they were?

    And yes, setting a quota is corrupt, because it does not acknowledge the possibility that people might be obeying the law.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Did this chief happen to come from New Rome when it was shut down? Just kidding.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Landcrusher:
    I will give the reporter a pass on the math until it turns out that the story was misleading because of the math. That’s when the problem seems to rear it’s head in modern journalism. The reporters are rarely, if ever, punished for being negligent or stupid.

    Not quite.

    The information age is finally bringing the brutal realities of the (advertising) marketplace to journalism. While a strong press is good for democratic government, the current softball question, info-tainment, unionized, politically left media deserves every layoff and newspaper bankruptcy coming.

    I don’t know what will replace them. And, yes, it is somewhat frightful thinking how the media’s current watchdog funciton gets replaced. But this (TTAC) may be part of a grand solution…

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