Letter: Ticket quotas are necessary

Randy Blaser’s column last week discusses the new bill outlawing law enforcement in Illinois from establishing ticket quotas [“Never mind the quota, enforce speeding laws,” April 17].

This bill pre-supposes that most police administrators are idiots and the street cops are being put upon to bring in revenue.

This gives lazy police an excuse to fill their non-committed time with personal tasks, rather than important regulatory enforcement. A municipality cannot justify staff only to meet emergency needs without using the ample talent of contemporary police professionals to assist in regularity interests.

Legislators are good at passing laws regulating conduct (seat belts, texting, traffic regulation, age restricted driving, etc), but who do they think will enforce their well-intentioned laws without supervisory expectations of performance objectives, which some refer to as quotas?

Unreasoned quotas may be wrong, but setting a standard to assist agencies to meet goals is a necessary tool, as with any occupation. This legislation may gain the applause of persistent speeders who hope that there will be fewer police on the street who are interested in enforcing speed laws. But there are many citizens who hope that the police take an interest in handicapped parking violations, careless drivers who are preoccupied with cell phones, drivers who intentionally disregard stop signs, and a host of other regulatory violations.

There will always be dedicated officers who care about the law and will continue to enforce with or without imposition of performance standards. But how do you suggest to deal with the police officers who slip past even the best screening methods and now sit on well paid jobs for 20+ years without any expectation of being required to perform any work during their (otherwise) non- committed time? Will they now raise the excuse that Dan Duffy says we don’t have to do any self-initiated work?

Police union bosses may appreciate this idea, but the average citizen may not be pleased if they see patrol cars sitting idly by the roadside, parked outside a donut shop, or see an officer on his cell phone while driving around with no purpose.


Dave Turnbaugh


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