7/17/2006Falls Church, Virginia Silences Ticket Quota Critic
Two veteran police officers critical of ticket quotas in Falls Church, Virginia have been fired or suspended.
The Falls Church, Virginia police department has taken extreme steps to silence two vocal critics of the city's ticket quota policy. City police union president Scott Rhodes, 38, was fired on June 30 and union vice president Markus Bristol, 37, was suspended without pay on May 23.
In 2004, the two blew the lid off of the department's requirement that three traffic tickets or arrests be made every shift. After failing to solve the problem through internal channels, Rhodes brought the story to The Washington Post which reported that any officer who failed to meet the quota faced a pay cut or demotion. Even officers who went on vacation had to make up for the number of tickets they failed to issue while on leave.
Police Chief Robert T. Murray claims disciplinary action against the two critics is unrelated to their statements regarding ticket quotas. There are, however, no recent citizen complaints against Rhodes, a ten-year veteran of the police and former Marine who has had nothing but good evaluations in his personnel folder. Instead, he has received several commendations from the public for his service. Bristol, likewise, is a ten-year veteran who served previously in the U.S. Army. He received an award for his exemplary work as a canine officer.
Falls Church has since removed the explicit ticket quotas.
Edward J. Nuttall, the union's attorney, said, "The chief's actions have destroyed the department's morale. There is no morale in that department."Source: Police Chief Fires Leader of Union (Washington Post, 7/17/2006)
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