8/22/2007Michigan: Community Protest Torpedoes Ticket Quota
Community activists protest Redford Township, Michigan offices forcing cancellation of the police ticket quota.
A planned protest at the Redford Township, Michigan police station yesterday helped kill a ticket quota that officials had adopted last month. The Mary Church Terrell Council for Community Empowerment canceled the Monday event after the group succeeded in convincing the township to drop its cash incentive to police officers that write traffic tickets. The group's president met with Township Supervisor R. Miles Handy II who now agreed the incentives made for bad public policy.
"(Handy) said he would scrap that policy and do some other things," Reverend Charles Williams II told the Detroit News.
Since mid-July, township police had been handed one hour's worth of overtime pay for every two traffic citations issued. This meant that a typical officer could pocket up to $21 in cash for each individual ticket issued. A township job posting notes that beginning police officers will earn between $42,872 to $57,162 with five years of service. That means an hour of overtime would be worth between $32 and $42. More senior officers could earn even more.
The Mary Church Terrell Council for Community Empowerment now plans to go after the ticket quota in Dearborn Heights. The Detroit suburbs of Livonia, Oak Park, Rochester and Trenton also depend on numeric ticket quotas for police.