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Tickets Do Not Measure Police Work

Tickets Do Not Measure Police Work

Source: CliffviewPilot.com

April 28, 2011

NEW JERSEY – Another group of public officials in New Jersey is taking aim at police officers — this time for “slacking” since eight of their colleagues were let go. Their evidence? Fewer summonses over the course of a single month.

The story was played up by AOL’s Patch, which reported West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi saying in a telephone interview: “Tickets are down considerably since the (March 15) layoffs. And work product is way down.”

It also cites an email from the town’s police chief saying officers need to show more “activity” to justify bringing back those who were laid off or pushed into retirement.

It isn’t until several paragraphs later that a union representative gets to defend the rank-and-file, saying they “have continued to exhibit the highest standards that are expected of them."

Picking up right where two of the state’s largest newspapers left off, the AOL-bankrolled “local” web site reports that the number of total motor vehicle stops in West Orange was down a third from the previous month. Hardly a representative sample.

But this is what happens when clueless people possess means of mass communication: measuring police work by TICKETS.

Know why other towns aren’t pulling the same stunt? They’re not that stupid, that’s why (Can’t say the same for certain media organizations I know).

Last I checked, ticket quotas were illegal in New Jersey. Someone might want to tell the West Orange mayor and council.

If a single month’s worth of traffic summonses is the basis for threatening not to rehire those who’ve left, then on-duty officers everywhere should begin stopping every motorist tonight who makes the slightest error. Issue a few warnings to some, summonses to most.

Heck, I’ll do my part: I need to go pick up some groceries, anyway.

Oh — and while the officers are preoccupied with MV stops, other calls will simply have to wait.

Kid’s head caught in a fence? Sorry.

Trouble breathing? Hang in there.

Car crash? Walk it off.

Wouldn’t it stand to reason that, with eight fewer officers, total violations would be down? I’d be curious to see what type of calls the West Orange LEOs were handling when all these tickets were supposed to have been written, especially since the force is 10 short of full strength right now.

I know one stat the clowns-that-be might want to consider: Friday night a clerk at a liquor store in town was shot dead. I, for one, would be more concerned with the level of safety than with going through ticket books.

Then again, if summons numbers suddenly skyrocketed, maybe town officials would simply turn around and say: “See? We’re getting by just fine.”

Read the original article on CliffviewPilot.com


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    maxxoccupancy

    about 3 years ago

    328 Comments

    How often do we actually see officers being fired for beating up teenager, falsifying evidence, lying on the stand, or even harassing their girlfriends? We're all grownups and we all know that this kind of abuse goes on, yet I'm seeing officers getting fired mainly for not writing enough tickets. We place peace officers on the street to keep the peace, not to collect tax revenue from tourists.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    maxxoccupancy

    about 3 years ago

    328 Comments

    No officer should ever be assigned a quota or 'expectation.' In many cases, police are sent out on a beat with citations to write in order to justify getting a cop on an important beat. If a cop writes one or two citations while covering an area, that's all well and good. If all the city wants is a meter maid, they should have hired one.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    about 3 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Time to elect a new mayor who just doesn't get it.....

  • Me2_max50

    bstites

    over 3 years ago

    1028 Comments

    I also don't see how cites have to do with how productive they are. My equation to this problem is relatively an easy one. less cops + recession w/ bored people = cops not writing ticket , but rather taking calls

    Told ya it was an easy one.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    over 3 years ago

    846 Comments

    I can't see using tickets to justify activity in a department. Presence is everything in my book and if there is a strong presence of units on the roads than deterence is working by speeders slowing down to avoid a ticket. Granted people will do stupid things like speed right in front of a cop but i have to say that just being present works in alot of areas. Using police departments as a source of income to justify overpaid govt. officials is wrong in all parts and needs to be looked at. I would look at the crime statistics first and see that if the department is doing great at detering and preventing crime than kudos to them and let them continue to do their job.

  • 707168ad30b8a8c4_max50

    RLC939

    over 3 years ago

    366 Comments

    It is very sad that some cities see their police departments as a way to supplement the cities budget shortfalls, and some completely depend on money brought in from traffic tickets to keep their city running, but the second they fall behind in their flimsy accounting, they lay off police officers to save money. Police in small cities have become a source of revenue first, and law officers second...it's not fair to the community, the officers or in come cases...the alleged "offenders".

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    over 3 years ago

    11360 Comments

    I'm confused! Did they not lay off 8 officers? So if they layed off 8 officers, does that not mean the ramianing officers have to take on additional calls/runs normally handled by the 8 layed off officers? If the remaining officers are busy with the additional calls/runs, then when do they have time to write tickets? What is more important handling calls, patrolling for crime prevention/suppression, and conducting fiedl interviews; or stopping motorists for minor traffic violations and writing tickets? Need to set priorities and adjust for lost (layed off) officers...

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14642 Comments

    While assigned to patrol I still wrote somewhere around 1 or 2 tickets a day for the most part but was much more involved in crime prevention and solving and responding to calls for service. Different jobs with different expectations. What about Detectives and Vice? Should they also be judged on tickets issued? Now isn't that a stupid way to determine if an Officer is working hard and doing his job?

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14642 Comments

    Tickets are only one way to measure activity. You must also look at the calls answered, contacts made, arrests, etc. We were expected to issue somewhere near an average of five tickets a day over each month and that was the traffic division and our main job was traffic. It is very hard not to issue less than that on average over a months time even writing less that 25% of contacts actual citations. That comes out to around 100 tickets a month and I usually wrote closer to 200 per month and I still only wrote 5-10% of my contacts. One month I wrote less than 5 tickets while on traffic. The reason was I was involved in a DUI fatality charging the suspect with murder instead of the standard Negligent Homicide. The suspect was very rich and very well connected with a State Senator being his personal friend and attorney. This case took all of my time as it was the catalyst that changed the laws dealing with DUI's with a fatality involved and it had to be done perfectly. Should I have been fired because I went from producing over 200 tickets a month to less than a half-dozen? I think not. LEO's need to be allowed to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    For years the police and firemen were left alone during hard times. There is a reason for that and now this Mayor(?) is starting to see it. Lay off cops and crime/calls for service will be adversely affected!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    radarcop

    over 3 years ago

    254 Comments

    Let see the whole stat sheet - down ten officers - the other officers have to handle more complaints - taking more time per shift to handle the important job of officers - that is to prevent crime or handle reported crime, gather evidence and catch criminals and take them to court - DDAAAAAAA

  • Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

    mmmm

    over 3 years ago

    550 Comments

    Let's see. An officer can spend the majority of his/her shift patrolling the back roads and alley ways preventing crime and catching those who try to stay under the radar, or he/she can spend most of the shift on main street in plain view writing the good citizens who have a lead foot. Which is REALLY more productive?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    GodblessTexas

    over 3 years ago

    156 Comments

    stats, stats, stats, that is all that motivates the higher-ups. They want to see numbers plain and simple! if you don't produce big numbers, then they don't like you! they want quantity, not quality!

  • Detective_3_max50

    copper7653

    over 3 years ago

    220 Comments

    It's all about the numbers. They will tell us its not a numbers game but trust me and everyone on here knows it. If you don't write tickets they will come down on you. Most are not stupid enough to put it in writing though.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    over 3 years ago

    10982 Comments

    More to Police work then writing citations. Maybe the citizen should find them a new Mayor.

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