TheNewspaper.com: Driving Politics
Home >Police Enforcement > Tickets and Cash > Florida Professor Challenges Ticket Quotas 
Print It Email It Tweet It

11/7/2005
Florida Professor Challenges Ticket Quotas
A University of South Florida professor has launched a federal lawsuit against Tampa police ticket quotas

Dr Barbara Orban
University of South Florida Professor Barbara Orban is using a federal lawsuit to challenge the ticket quota system used by the Tampa police. The suit stems from a 2000 incident when Orban rear-ended a BMW with her Mercedes. It was a minor incident, but the Tampa police officer at the scene explained to Orban that he was forced by department policy to issue her a careless driving ticket.

Instead of moving on, Orban, 51, investigated further and found that this policy involves a direct financial incentive to the police. Florida is unique in taxing insurance premiums to pay police pensions. For example, an individual who pays a thousand dollars to insure his vehicle would pay $8.50 into the fund annually. This premium skyrockets, however, for each traffic ticket received. An eight percent increase last year, thanks to additional tickets written, added an extra $245,000 into the fund.

Orban charges that this financial incentive is used to force officers to maliciously prosecute drivers. Police Chief Stephen Hogue has denied the department has a quota, but retired officers beyond Hogue's reach have insisted that there is. Retired Sergeant Pete Pomponio filed a sworn affidavit last week saying he "advised" officers to write eighty citations in order to "meet expectations" on their evaluation.

"If I force an officer to write X amount of tickets in order to get a good evaluation, and the tickets make the city money, I'm enforcing a quota system," Pomponio said.

A police lieutenant's August 15 email discusses the use of ticket averages "as a guide to evaluate lower producing officers." So far, Orban has spent $50,000 on her suit. The original ticket was for $100.


Source: Officers Back Claim Of Quota On Tickets (Tampa Tribune, 11/7/2005)



Permanent Link for this item
Return to Front Page


Related News
Pennsylvania Appellate Court Revives Administrative Ticket Nightmare

Study Finds Car Seat, Seat Belt Laws Do Not Save Children

Study Suggests Emphasis On Speed Enforcement Is Misguided

Kansas Supreme Court Clears Man Charged With Stoplight Burnout

California Man Sues Traffic Court Over Conflict Of Interest




View Main Topics:

Get Email Updates
Subscribe with Google
Subscribe via RSS or E-Mail

Back To Front Page


Front Page | Get Updates | Site Map | News Archive | Search | RSS Feed
TheNewspaper.com: Driving politics
TheNewspaper.com