Sunday, August 07, 2011

More LAPD officers allege illegal traffic ticket quotas

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Sign: “Ticket Quota Zone” / “Watch Out For Heavy Enforcement Ahead!”

But demanding that traffic cops hand out a minimum number of tickets is illegal and nonexistent! Or so the officials are always quick to say, anyway, regardless of the increasing tide of actual road officers coming forth with accusations to the contrary:

Ten more LAPD motor officers have sued the city, claiming harassment and retaliation after they complained they were forced to meet illegal traffic-ticket quotas.

The officers, all assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department's West Traffic Division, say they were reprimanded, denied overtime and promotions, or deprived of vacations after they objected to the quotas, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court.

"The officers were directed to meet specific ticket numbers by days, weeks and months," said Matthew McNicholas, one of three attorneys representing the group.

LAPD officials declined to comment on the lawsuit, but denied the department has a policy or practice of requiring officers to write a minimum number of tickets.

"We don't have traffic ticket quotas," said Lt. Andrew Neiman, an LAPD spokesman.

Of course you don’t. Officially.

The plaintiffs filing the suit are Officers Philip Carr, Kevin Cotter, Timothy Dacus, Peter Landelius, Kevin Ree, Kevin Riley, Josh Sewell, Vincent Stroway, James Wallace and Jason Zapatka.

The lawsuit is similar to one filed by two other West Traffic Division officers, who won a $2 million judgment in April. They claimed they were harassed and given poor performance reviews after complaining about ticket quotas.

Is it any wonder how misconduct can run so rampant throughout police departments with the present combination of ingrained lack of discipline towards crooked cops and the climate of intolerance and castigation towards those who dare to call out bad behavior? You get caught botching a raid or slaughtering an innocent household pet (or an innocent civilian), or any other sort of misconduct short of arsoning your force headquarters, and you’ll be damned if you get any more than a slap on the wrists. Whereas, should you dare to actually try to blow the whistle, you can kiss your reputation and employment prospects bye-bye (if not worse).

And cops still wonder why all the hostility towards their ranks that’s brewing in the main population. Still, kudos to all the above listed officers for actually doing their job, refusing to take part in bullshitting the populace, and actually trying to set things right. Police forces need more – a whole lot more – like them.

(via The Agitator)