Ticket Quotas Are Robbery!
I’m sure the city council itself was involved somehow, but after five cops came forward with evidence that they were obligated to fulfill unrealistic speeding ticket quotas, the council voted 4 -1 to disband the police department.
The city of Waldo is a small town with a population of just over a 1,000 people. Despite the small population, the city was able to rake in $1 million last year, almost half of which came solely from speeding tickets, which was designated “police revenue” in the city’s budget.
Everyone knew Waldo had a fierce reputation as a speed trap. AAA paid for signs that were on the way to Waldo, warning drivers to slow way down to avoid getting a ticket.
On the money-making road, the speed limit changed six times. That’s an awful lot, considering the town is only a couple square miles. Right as you enter the town, it’s 65. Then, it changes to 55, to 45, to 55 again, to 45 again, and then to 35.
At some point, 5 of the city’s 7 police got tired of the ridiculous ticket quotas being enforced on them by their chief who has since resigned after another investigation exposed other corruption charges. Their interim chief wasn’t any better, and is also in the middle of a corruption scandal. I guess at that point, the city council decided it was a lost cause and chose to shut down the department. But like I said before, I’m sure the city council itself was complicit in these ticket quotas. After all, that is where the city got nearly half of its revenue. More than likely, they just didn’t want to deal with the bad publicity, and they chose to cover themselves by shutting down the department.
The [Gainesville] Sun reports Officer Brandon Roberts told council members on Tuesday night that they were required by [police chief] Szabo to write 12 speeding tickets per 12-hour shift or face punishment. Roberts offered an electronic presentation and printed emails as evidence.
“Looks like you have some work to do when you come in,” Szabo wrote in an email to an officer who had written only four speeding tickets.
Roberts said he and the other officers were speaking up because they no longer have faith in their “chain of command.”
Szabo was suspended Aug. 12 pending a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into a separate allegation that he violated police procedure.
In their presentation to city leaders, the officers also said Szabo frequently abandoned his post and disabled equipment to cover his tracks, the Sun reports.
The officer put in charge of the department after the suspension, Cpl. Kenneth Smith, has also been placed on administrative leave after allegations from fellow officers that he installed city-owned surveillance equipment for personal use and improperly stored evidence.
Last year, these 7 cops wrote 12,000 tickets at hundreds of dollars each. That brought in over $400,000.
Ticket quotas are real. They might be illegal, but that doesn’t stop cities in conjunction with their respective police departments from using them to rake in the dough. They just don’t call them quotas. It’s to keep drivers safe, right?