West Virginia Legislature: Ticket Quotas Exist

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
west virginia legislature ticket quotas exist

The West Virginia Legislative Auditor announced yesterday that a performance review of the West Virginia State Police found significant evidence that the agency imposes traffic ticket quotas to boost the number of citations issued. Nearly a third of all troopers involved in patrol duties statewide told the auditors that troopers are punished if they failed to generate a specified number of citations each month. In Troop 4, one of the six surveyed, 55 percent of the law enforcement officers admitted that they were under a ticket quota. The auditor confirmed this admission with documents, including a September 12, 2005 memo from Troop 4 commanders that ordered supervisors to impose a quota.

“Effective immediately anyone who does not have 100 min. contacts in the highlighted areas [should be given an] EPA-2 [performance appraisal] at the end of the month, or before if you see they aren’t producing,” the handwritten memo stated.

The emphasis on contacts in effect directed patrols away from rural areas and onto the highest volume roads to issue as many speeding tickets as possible.

“Here is the deal on our activity; a murder investigation is worth one point, so is one citation, so if they want numbers up, they tell you to go out and write citations,” a trooper told the state auditors. “It all looks good on the outside. My (goal) a month is fifty contacts. Other troops are requiring 100 contacts.”

This concern was supported by statistics that showed the number of investigations and arrests for misdemeanors and felonies remained relatively static from 2003 to 2006. Over the same period, however, traffic citations grew sharply year after year (page 25). Despite the increase in ticketing, the rate of fatal road accidents did not change significantly.

“We are in constant stress of not having enough ‘contacts’ for the month,” a trooper wrote. “Numbers are stressed over criminal work. It’s difficult to follow-up on investigations when you are constantly in fear of not having enough ‘contacts’ for the month.”

Troopers who failed to keep their numbers high faced serious punishment that affected both their salary and quality of life. In Troops 4 and 5, those who did not issue 100 tickets received verbal counseling, negative performance appraisals, had their work schedules changed or were transferred involuntarily. The report pointed out that this procedure is not only unwise, it is unlawful.

“The Legislative Auditor is concerned that 20 percent of WVSP field troopers surveyed stated that the WVSP is using trooper relocation as a disciplinary tool,” the report stated. “The Legislative Auditor is of the opinion that this belief is prevalent enough that it may be having a negative effect on field trooper morale. This practice, if occurring, is in violation of West Virginia Code Section 15-2-20 which states that ‘A transfer may not be made as a disciplinary measure.'”

The auditors also slammed state police officials for trying to insist that the agency has no statewide policy imposing a ticket quota. These policies, the auditors suggested, are imposed in the form of “expectations for performance” that vary in different sections of the state. These expectations, in the public view, are the same as a ticket quota, which undermines public confidence in the state police force. The auditor recommended that the agency begin an internal investigation into the possibly illegal transfer of troopers. The report also recommended that officials review existing policies.

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  • Fallout11 Fallout11 on Nov 19, 2008

    Oh, like these don't exist in nearly every state and precinct in the country? Puh-leese. This is not an isolated incident, as anyone who's ever worked law enforcement can easily attest to. "Quantifiable measured duty performance" = quotas

  • SexCpotatoes SexCpotatoes on Nov 19, 2008

    [inappropriate] So they are basically telling the officers to pull over and ticket 100 mostly law abiding citizens, or for each of them to kill 100 people a month to create unsolved murders to investigate (it's for the points, not for the joy of killing, I swear!). [/inappropriate]

  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.