One of the four Houston, Texas cops involved actually killed himself when the scandal broke that cops falisfy speeding tickets. The other three are under investigation, but the police union to which they belong have reminded everyone that they are innocent until proven guilty. Which is true, but it wasn’t difficult to prove their guilt. KHOU reported:
An I-Team analysis of months of tickets and GPS records revealed how Officers Rudolph Farias John Garcia, Robert Manzanales and Gregory Rosa, listed each other as “witnesses” on speeding violations when they were never there. Instead, records show those officers were writing tickets at the same time at completely different locations, sometimes miles away. The motivation in the alleged scheme was to appear in court more often and collect more overtime.
“They lack all credibility and there’s really not anything the state can do to rehabilitate that,” said veteran traffic attorney Paul Kubosh.
Since the first of the year, records show the four officers wrote more than 5,000 combined, with fines and fees totaling more than $350,000.
It’s unclear how many of tickets written by the four officers are still open cases, but Kubosh said one thing is clear.
“We’re talking a whole lot of money, we’re talking a whole lot of money and it’s a shame but it’s just the result of people lying on traffic tickets trying to defraud the system,” Kubosh said.
I wonder if these cops were under the gun to write as many traffic tickets as possible. This is after all how their department and local municipality make money. They shy away from using the term “quota,” but that’s exactly what many departments have.
I’m not trying to defend the cops involved, but this sort of thing isn’t new. When this kind of scam happens, the department officials will usually claim that the police involved must have had personal money problems, and that’s why they were defrauding the system. The added overtime would help.
That’s basically what they’re claiming here. It’s entirely possible, but I think the quota requirements play a part in all this somehow. Maybe when it all started out, police were pushed to meet ticket quotas under threat of termination, disciplinary action or transfer, and so several of them resorted to falsifying citations just to meet demands. As long as the tickets were coming in, department officials turned a blind eye to the scam, because of all the revenue. But then somewhere along the way, the whistle got blown, and the department had no choice but to prosecute the officers involved and dismiss thousands of tickets, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.