|Cops fight back over ticket quotas|
|Written by NYCPBA|
The New York City PBA, the nation’s largest police union with 24,000 members, ran a series of ads in several of the area’s newspapers, large and small, to educate the public about the pressure their members are experiencing to write a high number of traffic tickets.
PBA officials claim that cops are being forced to write as many tickets to motorists as possible. The department denies they are forcing officers to meet a certain “ticket quota” thresholds.
NYCPBA President Pat Lynch said his members are being pressured to write summonses and that pressure continues once the case gets to court.
“If the motorist is found ‘not guilty’ in traffic court,” Lynch says, “there are Internal Affairs supervisors right in the courtroom ready to dock the officer three vacation days. In dollar terms, that means $900.
“Police officers are furious over the mistreatment they are receiving in traffic court at the hands of NYPD management,” Lynch continued. “These men and women, who have dedicated their lives to keeping this city safe, are being severely penalized when they lose a traffic-court case.”
To protect their members, the PBA has undertaken an aggressive public education effort that includes radio commercials and print advertising so the citizens of New York will better understand the reason they are receiving so many traffic tickets.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumped into the long-running quota debate with both feet saying, “We do not have quotas. My recollection is quotas per se are illegal, so we certainly don’t have them.”
Both setting quotas and punishing officers who do not meet them are illegal under state law. The Police Department says it does not have quotas but rather “performance standards” to make sure cops don’t while away entire shifts doing nothing.
“Does the Police Department measure productivity?” Bloomberg asked rhetorically. “Of course they do. They’re supposed to do that. They have a responsibility to do that.”
So far the campaign appears to be very effective with several officers reporting their conversations with motorists were much more friendly once the ads began running.
But the bottom line for Pat Lynch and other PBA officials is that the pressure has to stop.
“Right now with these quotas, the cop loses, the public loses and the traffic-court justice system loses,” Lynch noted.
“The only winner may be the city’s treasury, which collects either from the cop or the motorist.”
written by DarkKnowlege, February 28, 2014