A police memo published by the Daily News shows unequivocal evidence that the New York City Police Department uses traffic ticket quotas. This memo was reportedly posted in the roll call room of the 77th precinct and advised officers how many traffic tickets and the type required.
Interestingly, cell phones tickets and seat belt tickets were, by far, the largest portion of the quota. Neither of these tickets carry points and present a much lower safety hazard than, for example, disobeying a red light or speeding.
This is not the first time that the NYPD has been caught imposing quotes. Earlier this year, a whistleblower cop recorded a supervisor in the 81st Precinct vowing to go after officers who don’t make at least one arrest a month.
State law prohibits police from using quotas – or setting a target number for arrests or summonses during a specific time frame. The practice is illegal because it places pressure on police officers to issue traffic tickets (even when a violation may not have occurred) and removes their discretion. The NYPD has denied this practice for years despite evidence to the contrary.