3/22/2006Wayne, New Jersey Police Protest Ticket Quotas
Police in Wayne, New Jersey say the acting chief has imposed an illegal ticket quota.
Upon being named acting police chief in Wayne, New Jersey, Donald Southamer issued a directive calling on his officers to issue more speeding tickets. He recently made the directive specific, ordering each officer to issue at least 144 citations per year. The Wayne Policemen's Benevolent Association (PBA), which represents all but seven officers, says that's a quota.
"We don't have a quota," Southamer told the North Jersey Herald News. "Quotas are not legal."
According to New Jersey law, a "'Quota' means any requirement, in writing or otherwise, regarding... the number of citations issued within a defined period of time by a law enforcement officer." The law forbids the practice. "A municipal police department ... shall not establish any quota for arrests or citations."
Wayne PBA president Robert Simpson alleges the quota is having a negative impact on the relationship between the police and the public. "Already officers have told me they feel they have issued tickets they normally would not have in order to keep up with department requirements."
An Act concerning quotas for motor vehicle and traffic violations and supplementing Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.Source: Cops question speeding crackdown (North Jersey Herald News, 3/21/2006)
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
C.40A:14-181.1 Definitions regarding motor vehicle, traffic violations.
1. For the purposes of this act:
"Citation" means a citation as defined in section 4 of P.L.1983, c.46 (C.39:5F-4).
"Quota" means any requirement, in writing or otherwise, regarding the number of arrests made or the number of citations issued within a defined period of time by a law enforcement officer, or regarding the proportion of the arrests made and citations issued by the law enforcement officer relative to the arrests made and citations issued by another law enforcement officer or group of officers.
C.40A:14-181.2 Police ticket quota for motor vehicle violations prohibited; permitted use of statistics.
2. a. A State, county or municipal police department or force engaged in the enforcement of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to this title shall not establish any quota for arrests or citations. The department or force may, however, collect, analyze and apply information concerning the number of arrests and citations in order to ensure that a particular officer or group of officers does not violate any applicable legal obligation.
b. The department or force shall not use the number of arrests or citations issued by a law enforcement officer as the sole criterion for promotion, demotion, dismissal, or the earning of any benefit provided by the department or force. Any such arrests or citations, and their ultimate dispositions, may be considered in evaluating the overall performance of a law enforcement officer.
3. This act shall take effect on the first day of the second month after enactment.
Approved December 12, 2000.
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