Cop speaks out against ticket quotas, gets fired

Each time we get stopped for something innocuous, we get the feeling that traffic cops have citation quotas they have to meet every month. But each time we we bring it up, they deny it. Now an Auburn, Ala. officer has come clean — and got fired for the effort.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” says former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners, who eventually got disgusted being told to hassle residents. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully,” he told ReasonTV.

He claimed — and audio recordings confirm — that each officer had to 100 contacts every month, in the form of arrests, citations, warnings and interviews, which, for the entire department comes to 72,000 per year in a town of 50,000 residents.

“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.”

Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” says that this is more than a nuisance, it’s also a public safety issue.

“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,” Balko told Reason.

Watch the video from ReasonTV

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