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NJ Ticket quotas would be banned under new legislation [AUDIO]

A bill to ban ticket quotas in New Jersey is scheduled to be introduced next week.

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Cop handing out ticket
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Red Bank) said he plans to  introduce legislation that bans law enforcement agencies from using the volume of an officer’s citations or arrests as a factor when evaluating that officer’s overall job performance.

Under current New Jersey law, it’s illegal for law enforcement agencies to evaluate a police officer’s overall job performance based “solely” on the amount of tickets issued, but O’Scanlon said that leaves a “gaping hole that you could drive a truck through.”

He said his bill will close that loophole by forbidding the use of arrest and citation numbers altogether.

“The existing law which is supposed to ban quotas — and it does ban specific numeric quotas — leaves a loophole where a police management entity can say to their officer, ‘We’re going to compare you to other officers,'” O’Scanlon said. “They take an officer who is an overzealous ticket writer and compare everyone else to him or her, and if you’re not writing that many tickets, you’ve got a discipline issue and that is a backdoor quota and it’s ridiculous.”

The assemblyman called ticket quotas a “dirty little secret” that turns officers into “revenue generating machines.”  He said it’s unfortunate that he had to draft a bill to completely stop law enforcement agencies from engaging in this practice.

“They’re writing tickets simply because they feel they need the numbers,” O’Scanlon said. “That shouldn’t be happening. If my bill becomes lawm you will have some local officials who will be upset because it will hurt them in their efforts to turn their police into a revenue generating agency.”

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed a similar measure into law that bans ticket quotas in that state.

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