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Are Illegal Police Quotas Still Affecting American Citizens? Essay

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Are Illegal Police Quotas Still Affecting American Citizens?


Just this past summer, one of my good friends was driving through Harrisonburg on his way home from work, when he noticed the one thing all drivers dread, flashing blue lights closing in on him fast. While pulling to the side of the road, he realized there was not one, but two police cars behind him. He knew he had only been going five miles per hour over the speed limit, so he was worried as to why two police cars had just pulled him over. After sitting in fear behind his wheel for several minutes, two cops walked to his car and informed him that he was getting a speeding ticket.

Obviously even five miles per hour over the speed limit is still speeding, but what would bring two cops to pull over a car traveling at a speed that almost everyone drives? Statistics from New York City’s Police Department have shown that the number of tickets for miniscule offenses is on the rise, and even though it is illegal for a city to set a formal quota for police to meet, many people believe it is still a common practice to have “under the table” quotas. According to Compstat, a crime analysis and police management process developed by the New York City Police Department, officers wrote 912,414 parking tickets between January 1 and May 11 of this year, as compared to 877,443 parking tickets during the same period last year, which represents an increase of 3.9%. A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Al O’Leary, said, “The apparent increase in summonses (in New York City) was fueled by quotas. You can call them goals or targets or management productivity levels, but in a practical world, those are quotas" (Mauldin).

Police chiefs everywhere contend that there...


... middle of paper ...


...ity to come up with new forms of revenue, so why bother when they can just keep the quota system bringing in the money.

Police are supposed to give the citizens of a city a feeling of security, but these quota systems are slowly turning that once felt sense of security into a sense of paranoia. If this trend continues in America, how long will it be until the population as a whole not only has a distrust, but a flat out hatred of police? The chaos that would happen in this instance may not be as far off as you think.


Works Cited

Mauldin, William. “NYPD Is Charged With Setting Quotas?” New York
Sun Online 13.5 (2003). 7 Sept. 2003
(http://www.nycpba.org/press-sun/sun-030513-tickets.html).

Saltonstall, David. “Quota’s? What quota’s?” New York Daily News
29.5 (2003). 7 Sept. 2003
(http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/87757p-79862c.html).


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