09 August, 2004

Quotas

I always thought it was a joke about cops having quotas. Turns out, in Falls Church (VA), they do!

Falls Church police require patrol officers to write an average of three tickets, or make three arrests, every 12-hour shift, and to accumulate a minimum total of 400 tickets and arrests per year. In terms of quotas, writing a ticket for a broken taillight carries the same weight as an arrest for armed robbery.

Failure to meet the quotas results in an automatic 90-day probationary period with no pay raise and a possible demotion or dismissal if ticket or arrest numbers aren't immediately raised to acceptable levels. Vacation time, extended leave or military duty doesn't reduce the quota, union officials said -- patrol officers still are required to meet the annual ticket or arrest numbers, meaning they must write more tickets when they return to the streets to compensate for their time away.

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