3/25/2008Missouri: Candidate Runs Against Quotas, Cameras
Documents prove chief of police uses ticket quota performance standards to shore up the city budget deficit.
A candidate for city council in Washington, Missouri has launched a campaign with a platform opposed to both ticket quotas and red light cameras. Guy W. Midkiff says he will bring a platform of lower taxes and less government to his city. But unlike most candidates, his campaign against traffic ticket quotas is based on evidence collected through extensive freedom of information act requests. Midkiff cites internal city documents that show city officials obsessed with shorting up the budget with traffic ticket "performance standards."
"Whatever name you give it, this system is bad for both the public and police," Midkiff said. "Quotas take officers away from other duties, such as patrolling communities, in order to generate revenue for the city."
On August 16, 2007 Washington city officials found themselves with a budget $630,000 in the red. Police Chief Kenneth W. Hahn issued a memo explaining that no police overtime requests were to be honored without his explicit permission.
"To summarize, it may appear bleak right now, but we feel once our new shopping center gets going strong, we will all be in a better position budget wise," Chief Hahn wrote to his officers.
On January 15, quarterly review of an entire squad of police produced the following scathing report: "I see no one on your squad met performance standards for the quarter. This is a direct reflection upon your supervision. You will need to more closely supervise your officers to ensure they meet performance standards. Consider this your first notice for failing to meet performance standards for a supervisor."
Former Officer Randy Messina filed a lawsuit against the department after he was fired for failing to write a sufficient number of revenue generating citations.
The ticket quota documents are found in an 870k PDF file at the source link below.