11/11/2005Cincinnati Cop Exposes Police Ticket Quotas
Veteran Cincinnati police officer fights department over numeric ticket quota.
Cincinnati, Ohio police officer Vincent George is blowing the cover off of the department's ticket quota system. He has filed a formal grievance with the department that claims he was punished for not meeting precise, numeric ticket goals. Punishments often include taking an officer off the street and putting him on desk duty.
"The lieutenant has, in his mind, come up with these numbers he feels we can accomplish, and if you don't make them, he has his consequences," George told WLWT-TV in an interview. "I didn't join (the police force) to become a predator that goes out and sits on a corner where a light is and watch people run red lights."
A January memo (407K, PDF format) outlines procedures for the third relief shift on the Cincinnati force. It reads,
"The Relief monthly goals are as follows:
4 Felony Arrests
8 Misdemeanor Arrests
4 Vice Arrests
20 MUTT's [traffic tickets]
20 CPI's [parking tickets]
8 Pedestrian Violations
4 Hours of Foot Patrol."
Police officials defended the practice, saying the goals listed in the memo did not amount to a quota. "I don't think you can use the word 'quota' and 'goal' interchangeably," Lieutenant Kurt Byrd told WLWT.
"The only way I'm going to feel good about what I do is to be straightforward," George said. "I would rather lose my job than be the officer that Lieutenant Carter wants me to be."