View Full Version : Quotas

02-03-2002, 02:12 AM
I am very pleased with the replys that I received for patrol zones. Thank you. I have another one. How does everyone feel about setting quotas or goals for a year. Such as, so many tickets, DWI's, and so on and so forth.
Does this cause pressure? Or is it just a way to get officers to work more efficient. There is a catch however, if you do not meet your quotas you may suffer unknown consequences, obviously ones you may not like. Such as zones you do not prefer.

02-03-2002, 02:37 AM

I don't think setting numerical goals is the right way to go. Officers who do their job should have no problem writting "enough" tickets and making "enough" arrests. Simply expect your officers to do their job. My agency doesn't have any quota or number system, but if a cop isn't doing anything, the numbers will suggest that.

02-03-2002, 02:41 AM
Quotas are illegal in my state.

Further, I find them counter-productive. I'm one of those guys that goes out and does my job. If you want to start putting minimum numbers on me, then that's what you get. For example, I used to check doors of businesses all the time. Then they came out with some stupid policy saying that you'd check a minimum of 20 per night and leave a stupid tag hanging on the door. Guess what? That's exactly what they got from me then, 20. No more, no less.

They also don't take into account the differences in activity between zones, shifts etc.

And they're a publicity nightmare.

02-03-2002, 05:05 AM
We used to have a quota, but now the chief lets us write all we want..... just a joke.

Seriously though, I find it hard to set a quota in this line of work. If things are slow, they're slow. A quota works in a factory but I just can't see setting a baseline for these types of things. Just my opinion.

02-03-2002, 05:10 AM
Quotas are a no-no here.

SGT Dave
02-03-2002, 10:58 AM
Quotas are illegal here-I guess I assumed they were everywhere.

02-03-2002, 11:02 AM
Quotas are illegal in Texas also. There have been some big brass in the Dallas area get fired over setting " informal " quotas.

02-03-2002, 02:43 PM
Quotas may be illegal but they are implied and enforced in my dept. I have co-workers with letters in their files for not writing enough tickets to meet expectations. I think that's ChickenS4it.

02-03-2002, 03:36 PM
The implied quota is what I was getting at. However, some officers are being punished for not meeting this implied quota.

02-03-2002, 04:21 PM
I'm one of those guys that doesn't like being forced into anything. I consider myself a very proactive Police Officer. I just don't like someone telling me that I have to write a certain number of tickets, or making a certain number of citizen contacts, etc..

I'm with Nite. I do the bare minimum if someone tells me that I have to do something. When they just leave me alone, I tend to be more productive.

Also, we don't have quotas either. However, our supervisors are always pushing some type of quota, as in the "implied" one.

02-03-2002, 05:27 PM
In the absence of numerical production standards, police management is often at a loss when it comes time to evaluate performance, both their own and that of their employees. Every other evaluation method requires a degree of subjectivity that will inevitably be subjected to challenge and dispute.

Numbers are popular because they are easy to record and they are objectively verifiable. Conversely, they are unpopular because they do not accurately reflect the attainment of police objectives..

Police work is much different than a manufacturing facility and it is not fairly quantifiable as a service provider. Our goals and accomplshments, for the most part, reflect intangible ideals. A careful reading of a few random mission statements will make this fact obvious. How does one measure, for instance, a "reduced fear of crime".

Customer surveys don't really work well for us. Production quotas are only marginally applicable to the arbitrary circumstances of policing and are viewed with justifiable suspicion by the public.

In some rspects, setting activiity quotas for police is akin to setting fire quotas for firemen or sunny day quotas for weathermen.

But I digress...., supervisors are always going to look at numbers as part of an officer's overall performance. An officer that want's to be perceived as a good worker will consequently produce numbers. The process doesn't hold up very well under scrutiny, so we try not to think about it too much and we certainly know not to use the word "quota".

Guard Dog
02-03-2002, 06:35 PM
I see nothing wrong with a standard, not a quota.

Quotas denote a means to increase revenue. That is why quotas per se are illegal in many states. Here in Illinois there is a case that went all the way to the supreme court. It is Beggs V Park Ridge.

Beggs was a slug that refused to do anything. Park Ridge had an activity standard of 0.8 tickets per day. Based upon the number of accidents and the high volume of vehicular traffic ( Next to Chicago O'Hare Airport) they started disciplinary action. The FOP fought it and he refused to write tickets. He lost and was discharged.
The court in Beggs rules that a production standard so low was not against the public interest.

The average patrol officer on the street should be able to come up with one moving violation per shift. Traffic accident investigation, every deputy's take home squad had a moving radar unit. Some months your write an average of a ticket a day the next it may be above or below. The yearly average of 240 days working (AVERAGE) should work out. Shifts need to be taken into account also. Obviously the Midnight shift does not have a traffic presence as much as the day or afternoon shift.

Sparky is also right. If you impose a standard, the officers will meet the standard and nothing more. We look for a well rounded activity. Some many tickets, so many warrants, so many papers all which directly relates to the ratio of discretionary time the officer has.

A police officers job is very hard to fairly evaluate because it is very subjective. Some quantitative measure is often necessary since job performance is so hard to measure.

I am against QUOTAS...reasonable performance standard do not offend me.

[ 02-03-2002: Message edited by: Guard Dog ]

02-03-2002, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Guard Dog:
Here in Illinois there is a case that went all the way to the supreme court. It is Beggs V Park Ridge.

Beggs was a slug that refused to do anything. Park Ridge had an activity standard of 0.8 tickets per day. Based upon the number of accidents and the high volume of vehicular traffic ( Next to Chicago O'Hare Airport) they started disciplinary action. The FOP fought it and he refused to write tickets. He lost and was discharged.
The court in Beggs rules that a production standard so low was not against the public interest.

I read through the case, not only was Beggs inept in doing his job he didn't like to show up for work either.
He has to be a real moron to put in 18 years of service only to get fired.

We have one of those "slugs".. a dispatcher that hasn't worked a day this year. :mad:

02-03-2002, 08:51 PM
Officers SHOULD be expected to have a certain level of performance OVER TIME. Unless there is a good reason, full time officers who only write a dozen or so tickets a year are not being pro-active enough. Of course, some agencies are so busy they don't give the average officer much time for regular, routine traffic enforcement.

The problem with the Q word is that too many admin types can't seem to evaluate officer performance outside the tangible number of tickets their oficers write. You could have 12 domestics a night and write 10 reports every day, but they want to see those tickets when it comes time to evaluate you!

02-04-2002, 11:11 AM
The biggest problem that I have seen with quotas is that it leads to B.S. tickets. Quotas are illegal in Texas, but that doesn't stop many agencies. Our State police operate on a "point" system, which basically equates to a quota. Most of the departments here are "at will employment", so if you don't meet whatever quota, point system, or whatever, you're gone with very little, if any, recourse. Quotas also prohibit much of the officers discretionary ability, especailly if the officer is short of the "goals", "quotas", "points", or whatever.

02-04-2002, 01:45 PM
In California, quotas are illegal.

There was a time when the administration struggled with this whole issue on how to properly evaluate a deputy.

What it boiled down to was, they decided to grade each person on what they DO, not what they DON'T do.

02-04-2002, 03:57 PM
At my dept were expected to write a ticket a day. But we don't have radar guns (the patrol guys might not take care of them) so were stuck with finding other stuff. Well during a busy shift with only a little time between calls that means I have to find a non speeding traffic infraction worth writing. Failure to signal is a chicken***** ticket. I'll stop people for it looking for drunks but I never write it. Sometimes you just don't see stop sign or red light violations in your shift. So even the ticket a shift thing is bogus sometimes.

02-06-2002, 02:02 AM
No quotas here either (per se) ,however, we have "monthly stats" posted. It shows the officers' names in roster format, how many cases, criminal complaints, moving cites, other cites, arrests and I think one more thing. It's idea is to get officers to encourage each other to do better. I don't particularly like it though, because it doesn't show adjustments for vacations or when officers are instructing in FTO. Those stats during FTO go to the new officers, not toward the trainer. Some people like it, I personally don't, but I'm not a supervisor. Oh yeah, the top 3 numbers in each category are highlighted with the number 1, 2 or 3 next to the top 3. If there is a tie, then both are highlighted and numbered and a "t" is included to show a tie. Ugh.

02-06-2002, 01:31 PM
In NJ quotas were outlawed in a bill signed by the governor two years ago...However everyone knows...if you are on the list for a day off and the captain can give that extra person off.".But Officer Smith, I see your quality of lifers are down this month", Not enough public drinkers or juvenile curfew tickets"," You still want that day off" God forbid you get a complaint while doing these things.....Then the captain is on you for that.....You cant win