2/25/2006Arkansas: Forrest City Ticket Quota Brings in 443 Percent Increase
A ticket quota in Forrest City, Arkansas brings in a fivefold increase in the number of speeding tickets issued.
Speeding tickets jumped 443 percent in the east Arkansas town of Forrest City after the police chief instituted a ticket quota. In a memo on January 3, 2005, Police Chief Clarence McNeary ordered officers to issue an "average one to two tickets daily." Last year the move resulted in a spike in overall traffic citations of 121 percent over the prior year.
"If they don't see any violations, then I don't need them as officers and they should resign," McNeary wrote. Six officers were disciplined in 2005 for failing to issue a sufficient number of citations.
Forrest City Mayor Larry Bryant denied in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he was violating a strict state law that prohibits "any requirement regarding the number of.citations issued by a law enforcement officer."
"It wasn't a quota then," Bryant said. "It's not a quota now. All it was, was asking [officers] to do your job."
The state law against quotas also prohibits the practice of disciplining officers over the number of citations issued.
Arkansas CodeSource: Traffic citations up 121% in 05 for Forrest City Speeding tickets rise fivefold; chief says officer (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/25/2006)
As used in this subchapter:
(1) "Arrest quota" means any requirement regarding the number of arrests made, or the number of citations issued, by a law enforcement officer or the proportion of such arrests made and citations issued by a law enforcement officer relative to the arrests made and citations issued by another law enforcement officer or group of officers; and
(2) "Citation" means a notice to appear, notice of violation, or notice of parking violation.
12-6-302. Arrest quotas prohibited.
No state or local agency employing law enforcement officers engaged in the enforcement of any motor vehicle traffic laws of this state or any local ordinance governing motor vehicle traffic may establish any policy requiring any law enforcement officer to meet an arrest quota, except as necessary to meet requirements under federal law or contracts with federal agencies.
12-6-303. Use of number of arrests.
(a) No state or local agency employing law enforcement officers engaged in the enforcement of any motor vehicle traffic laws may use the number of arrests or citations issued by a law enforcement officer as the sole criterion for promotion, demotion, or dismissal, or the earning of any benefit provided by the agency.
(b) Any such arrests or citations and their ultimate dispositions may only be considered in evaluating the overall performance of a law enforcement officer.
Permanent Link for this item
Return to Front Page