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8/9/2006
Utah: Cop Suspended After Protesting Ticket Quota
Ogden, Utah mayor calls police chief and an officer protesting the city ticket quota is suspended two hours later.

Mayor Matthew GodfreyA police officer in Ogden, Utah was suspended after Mayor Matthew Godfrey noticed he was protesting the city's practice of offering rewards to cops if they write more citations. The ticket plan is meant to double the number of tickets in order to increase revenue to $3.3 million a year, but many police officers have banded together to protest the new policy.

Matt Jones was one of the Ogden officers fed up with the situation. His wife drove a van displaying a sign that read: "Welcome to Ogden city, home of Godfrey's ticket quota." Godfrey himself saw it and was outraged. He called the chief of police to check Jones' license plate number, suspecting a police officer was responsible. Two hours later, Jones was suspended from duty. The heavy-handed move sparked additional outrage, as state law specifically guarantees the right of free speech to off-duty officers.

Godfrey maintains that this was a mere coincidence and that Jones was suspended for unrelated reasons. He has agreed to allow an outside investigator determine whether the move violated state law.

Source: Ogden mayor addresses First Amendment concerns after controversial police officer suspension (KTVX-TV (UT), 8/9/2006)



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