Quotas or goals? The NYPD debate

May 7, 2012 3:12:41 PM PDT
It is a surprising hit on police management in New York City.

In the Daily News on Monday, a full page ad claimed police are facing "undue pressure to write summonses to as many motorists as possible."

"But we do not have quotas," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "My recollection is 'quotas' per se are against the law so we certainly don't have them."

The mayor denied there's a quota for cops, even though the issue surfaced in the recent ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx.

"In my mind it would be unethical to tell a police officer you have to go and generate a specific number of tickets today no matter what," Maria Haberfeld said.

Haberfeld teaches ethics at John Jay College. She says the quota issue comes up again and again, as cities depend upon police to generate revenue.

"It's typical to have informal pressure, and I don't know if it falls within the definition of a quota," she said.

So while there's nothing in writing outlining a quota, the police union claims their officers are not only facing mounting pressure, but they're punished by losing "three vacation days - (worth) more than 900 dollars - if a motorist is found not guilty."

The mayor today said what we call a quota, he calls simply a goal.

"It's always an issue. Does the police department measure productivity? Of course they do. That's what they're supposed to do. They have a responsibility to do that," Bloomberg said.

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