Police quotas - mandatory numbers for nailing you with parking tickets and traffic violations - have always been one of those unconfirmed realities of urban living. But the New York Times has new proof, exposing an agenda from the top at the New York Police Department.
A secret tape recording from a Brooklyn police station, obtained by the New York Times, provides compelling evidence that quotas for summonses aren't just real but are being pushed upon officers by their superiors. Police Captain Alex Perez encourages hunting down seatbelt and mobile phone law transgressors, among other violations, saying he expects five citations issued per week.
And those officers who don't rake in the dough by pushing citations? They risk getting canned. "After I bounce you to a different platoon for inactivity, the next thing is to put you on paper, start rating you below standards and look to fire you," Perez says.
The revelation won't keep New Yorkers safe from a ticket next time they're double-parked for five minutes to unload groceries, but this should at least affirm that they're not simply suffering from bad luck. [NYT]
Photo by Rob Boudon