There’s this unwritten policy that exists among some police departments that say each officer is expected to issue a certain number of tickets and arrest a specific number of individuals within a specified period of time. Many civilians attribute speed traps and similar practices to unmet quotas. But the truth is, police quotas aren’t something police agencies should be setting for its officers nor for officers to establish among themselves.
You see, while it is true that all states do have their own laws that govern what police officers are authorized to do, there are a few that have created laws that specifically prohibit departments from having police quotas. For example, Florida Statute §316.640 says that “A traffic enforcement agency may not establish a traffic citation quota.” Rhode Island also has a statute of its own that addresses police quotas.
Under Rhode Island law,“No state or municipal agency engaged in the enforcement of any motor vehicle traffic or parking laws of this state, or any local ordinance governing motor vehicle traffic or parking, may establish or maintain any policy, formally or informally, requiring any officer to meet a quota” [Source: § 31-27-25]. The state defines quota as follows: “Quota means any requirement regarding the number of arrests or investigative stops made, or summonses or citations issued, by an officer regarding motor vehicle traffic or parking violations.”
Why do some states make it illegal for departments to set police quotas?
Police officers work in an industry where they are expected to protect and serve, not increase their department’s revenue. However, when an agency shifts its focus from stopping crime and saving innocent people to increasing the amount of money it brings in, this raises the chances of an officer making an illegal stop or arresting someone who did not commit a crime.
Many innocent people have had to spend days, weeks, months, and even years behind bars simply because an officer was abusing their authority in the process of meeting their quota. Many others had to pay exorbitant tickets or endure being abused, harassed, or mistreated by an officer who was trying to make it seem as though their agency was doing a good job at cracking down on crime.
What can I do if I was harassed by an officer or wrongfully arrested?
It isn’t uncommon for a law enforcement officer to use their power to harass innocent individuals. Many officers are aware of the fact that a large percentage of citizens are unaware of their rights and they take full advantage of this. So, if you think an officer of the law harassed you or made an unlawful arrest, you can always contact a police brutality attorney in your city for legal advice.
There are a number of ways you can address the issue and a skilled police brutality lawyer is the professional who can explain this to you. To get connected with a lawyer in your area who is qualified to handle police brutality cases, contact USAttorneys.com now. While it is understandable that police departments do need to bring in a certain amount of revenue so that it can afford police training course, uniforms, etc., it shouldn’t be earned at an innocent person’s expense