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Auburn Cop Fired for Protesting Ticket Quotas

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  • Auburn Cop Fired for Protesting Ticket Quotas

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/07/2...priorities-fir

    Auburn, Alabama is home to sprawling plains, Auburn University, and a troubling police force. After the arrival of a new police chief in 2010, the department entered an era of ticket quotas and worse.

    “When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” says former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners, who claims he and other cops were given directives to hassle, ticket, or arrest specific numbers of residents per shift. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

    Hanners blew the whistle on the department’s tactics and was eventually fired for refusing to comply and keep quiet. He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made. The Auburn police department declined requests to be interviewed for this story.

    “There are not that many speeders, there are not that many people running red lights to get those numbers, so what [the police] do is they lower their standards,” says Hanners. That led to the department encouraging officers to arrest people that Hanners “didn’t feel like had broken the law.”

    Former Reason staffer Radley Balko, now an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, says that this isn’t just a nuisance, it infringes on public safety.

    “You have a policy that encourages police to create petty crimes and ignore serious crimes, and that’s clearly the opposite of what we want our police to be doing,” says Balko.

    Hanners repeatedly voiced his concerns through his chain of command, and the department responded that these requirements are necessary for increasing productivity. Yet Hanners firmly believes that the quotas are entirely revenue driven.

    “I had no intention of dropping it,” says Hanners, “This is a problem in more places than Auburn, and I think once the people know that they can hold their public officials accountable, it’ll change.”

    The police chief singled out by Hanners retired this July, citing medical reasons.

  • #2

    Encouraging officers to write more tickets as a way to increase revenue? Say it isn't so!

    Hats off to this cop for "blowing the whistle" on this bad practice!

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

    Comment


    • #3
      So they get upset about the police enforcing petty crimes on the book to meet an enforcement number? How about they start getting rid of the petty crimes on the book then. Stop having the police be the "do all" in society. Have any kind of *problem* call 911. Society has become a joke.

      I'm obviously not a fan of a quota system and I guess many aren't either. I will say that most people complaining about having a "quota" system are lazy do nothings. They use a "quota" as an excuse when they cant even produce what the squad or shift average number is.

      I also have no respect for ANYONE that goes from Reason to the freaking Huffington Post. Talk about a reporter with no personal value.

      Just more hype from what sounds like a cry baby. Don't want the police enforcing what you think are "petty laws" then take them off the book. Problem solved.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have no problem with having to have a certain number of contacts per shift, but a big one with forcing tickers. We have to have 5 per shift and it doesn't matter if it's 5 calls, 5 suspicious people, 5 store checks (going in an walking around), 5 written warnings, 5 cites, or an combo there of. I can go a week without a cite and no one will say a thing. I can even go a week without a traffic stop, or arrest without an issues and if I do nothing productive for a week, the most that will happen is the sgt will ask if everything's ok. Then again, most of the time I've very proactive and the minimum contacts are mostly for the people who try to hide at the end of a cul-da-sac all day.
        Last edited by dontknowwhy; 07-24-2013, 10:40 PM.
        Originally posted by Ceridwen
        Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tickets quotas are illegal in at least one state (CA) and for damn good reason.

          There should be ZERO financial incentive to the state, city, town, county, courts or the department for writing cites....because it is about 'safety' right? (its not, but lets let some believe it is)
          The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

          "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

          "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

          Comment


          • #6
            Radley Balko. There's that name again.
            I make my living on Irish welfare.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
              Tickets quotas are illegal in at least one state (CA) and for damn good reason.

              There should be ZERO financial incentive to the state, city, town, county, courts or the department for writing cites....because it is about 'safety' right? (its not, but lets let some believe it is)
              Illegal but still in practice around the country.
              I make my living on Irish welfare.

              Comment


              • #8
                Depends exactly what a "contact" is. I know guys who would bitch about having to get out of their car and actually talk to people who live in the neighborhood they patrol. I would call those contacts but I don't know if they would call those contacts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by reils49 View Post
                  Illegal but still in practice around the country.
                  Is it illegal in NY?

                  You will get hammered for it here.....the general public barely tolerates us as it is....and those are the portion that actually LIKES us!
                  The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                  "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                  "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I really don't think they're asking a whole lot, and most certainly not illegal as it is a minimum work standard. No where in their policy are they saying how many tickets you need to have, only contacts. I'd assume that means calls for service (bonus for multiple people involved), consent contacts, RS stops, PC stops. More or less you have 160 work hours a month, if you can't talk to 100 citizen's in that month you probably are the reason they put the minimum work standards in place in the first place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
                      Tickets quotas are illegal in at least one state (CA) and for damn good reason.

                      There should be ZERO financial incentive to the state, city, town, county, courts or the department for writing cites....because it is about 'safety' right? (its not, but lets let some believe it is)
                      Lets make it really be about safety and make the enforcement more fair while we are at it: Replace basically all fines with community service punishments.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGeZi...v-google&gl=US
                        1*

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          After hearing the audio that the chief stated, he had better be open to a wide definition of "field interview" or he's going to get hammered on it. Putting the number 40 on the number of warnings that may be issued is going to be problematic as well. If the policy was 100 and there was no pressure that any of them be tickets, they'd be in the clear, but with the chief putting his foot in his mouth they're going to be giving this guy his job back.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can understand it completely. You see, here in Alabama - we have 3 seasons - summer, football, and deer. Cities with universities rely heavily on the increase in sales around town on a football weekend from people attending the games.

                            Since it's Auburn, they have to find other ways to make money.

                            (ba dum bum... CHING!) thank you, I will be here all week. Try the veal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by name taken View Post
                              ...i also have no respect for anyone that goes from reason to the freaking huffington post. Talk about a reporter with no personal value...
                              qfmft.
                              There are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those that believe in the moon landing and those that don't.
                              http://unistat76.blogspot.com/

                              Comment

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