California Cops Suspended for Protesting Ticket, Arrest Quotas?

Now these six Whittier, California cops are suing the city police department for what they describe as retaliation against them for speaking out against and not meeting ticket and arrest quotas.

Police officials of course swear that they don’t use quotas. After all, quotas are against state law, and since they’re all about law enforcement, they couldn’t use quotas even if they wanted to. They only do things that are lawful.

It’s all semantics though. They may not call what they have “quotas,” but that’s exactly what they are. They take the department’s ticket and arrest averages as a whole and make sure all their deputies are measuring up to that average. If they aren’t, they face disciplinary actions. And if anyone dares speak out against that policy, he gets canned. Here’s the LA Times:

Six Whittier police officers are suing the city, saying they faced retaliation when they complained and refused to meet alleged ticket and arrest quotas.

Officers Jim Azpilicueta, Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Rosario, Nancy Ogle, Steve Johnson and Cpl. Joseph Rivera say they spoke out against the quotas, which they claim were imposed by the Whittier Police Department in 2008, according to a suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The officers said their “careers have been materially and adversely affected, and irreparably harmed” by the city.

City Manager Jim Collier and Whittier police spokesman Officer John Scoggins declined to comment and said they had not seen the lawsuit.

“The lawsuit is unfortunate and the city will determine the best course of action once an analysis of the lawsuit is completed,” Collier said.

The officers say the alleged ticket and arrest quotas continue to this day.

The alleged retaliation started after the officers said they complained to their supervisors and the police department’s Internal Affairs Division, the suit claims.

After complaining about quotas, the officers faced a series of disciplinary actions including counseling sessions, unwarranted transfers, increased scrutiny and disparaging comments, the lawsuit said.

Azpilicueta and Johnson were also placed on a supervisory review and performance improvement plan. Johnson was the subject of an internal affairs investigation and was eventually suspended, according to the lawsuit.

The officers said they “spoke out not only for the rights of themselves and their fellow officers, but also for the rights of the public by speaking out against what they believed to be an unlawful citation and arrest quota.”

Police aren’t charged as much with serving and protecting as they are with collecting revenue. That’s what the excessive tickets and arrests are for. That’s what all the laws we have are for. There is a large financial incentive for police departments to enforce quotas on their deputies to maximize their potential money-making power.