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Well, you may have heard or read about the two LAPD officers that were awarded two million dollars after winning a civil lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and its police department. It all had to do with traffic ticket quotas and this may answer a question that we all have asked in the past but no one was able to actually answer. The rumor had always circulated that cops needed to give out a certain number of tickets to fill a quota… usually; we thought this was the result of over active imaginations. Well, you can stop wondering. The jury awarded the two mil based on the officers allegations that their superior officer mandated that each officer write 18 tickets per day (that would be a quota). In addition, the officers were told that said tickets should be “high ticket items” (pardon the pun) such as speeding, red lights or lane straddling, in other words, tickets that would bring in major revenue.
Since quotas are in direct violation of the vehicle code the officers felt that they were being ordered to break the law. The damage award was for loss of reputation and specific employment actions against the officers by the LAPD which affected their careers after they reported the misconduct and refused to meet the quotas.
The city and LAPD brought forth in their defense arguments that rather than quotas their goals were to reduce injuries and fatalities on the road and that factors such as weather, the price of gas and paramedic response times played a larger role in affecting traffic fatality and injury numbers. So… giving out more tickets helps this situation by doing what exactly? Chris Brizzolara, attorney for one of the officers said this; “These kinds of quotas undermine the confidence of citizens in the Los Angeles Police Department.” And now you know.