3/19/2007Texas: Police Chief Faces Ticket Quota Charges
An outside investigation will determine whether the Red Oak, Texas police chief imposed an illegal traffic ticket quota.
The police chief in Red Oak, Texas faces charges that he imposed an illegal traffic ticket quota. The city council last week suspended Police Chief Donald "Red" Fullerton and Deputy Chief Stephen Anderson pending the conclusion of an outside investigation by a retired Fort Worth policeman.
Evidence shows that the city's police force began issuing a traffic ticket every twenty minutes during a severe budget shortfall. In January 2007, the force issued just under 1800 tickets, up from 559 in January 2006. City Councilman Ben Goodwyn told the Dallas Morning News that the chief was putting pressure on officers to increase the number of citations issued or face punishment.
"They were getting threatened with termination, demotion and not getting raises," Goodwyn said. "That destroys the morale of the police force."
The police chief budgeted $3.4 million in citation revenue, which required each officer to issue 320 tickets a month. A bulletin board in the police station displayed how each officer measured up. Motorists complained of receiving tickets for minor infractions such as driving 5 MPH over the limit on Interstate 35E.