NYC Police Department Caught Imposing Traffic Ticket Quotas


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.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Danny Bright
    April 20, 2012 5:20 pm

    I was ASSAULTED by a drunk with a race issue. I an effort to keep cool and lead the perpetrator away from the entrance of my kid’s school. I backed-up all the way to the intersection with this idiot in my face. Three of NYPD’s “finest” were busy wirting summons for blocking the box. When I yelled for help, they said it was not their job!!! Also, they would NOT call a cop that could actually do something.
    The drunk was threatening me with violence and menacing a sidewalk FULL of young kids!

    Meanwhile the crosswalks were BLOCKED and kids had to venture between standing cars and into the intersection because these cops were NOT directing traffic – the were busy writing citations. If the goal is to make things safer and relieve congestion AND keep the peace, this corrupt policy is an ENORMOUS FAILURE!!!


  • Illegal Practice
    November 20, 2011 9:07 am

    I cannot give up who I am out of fear of retaliation but I know first hand the NYPD has Quotas on all summons/arrests and even those Stop,Question&Frisk Reports. I will list the things that happen to Cops if they do not come in with these numbers….

    Tour change
    No days off (other than annual vacation)
    Put on foot post (even though your not needed on foot)
    Possible transfer to another police facility
    Threats of all the above!!!! All the time!!!!

    Now i ask you what can Cops do to open up the NYPD to all the Illegal tactics used w/o retaliation….you tell me!!!!!

  • irene casalino
    June 18, 2011 12:58 pm

    As far as I am concerned, not enough tickets are given out. I deal on a daily basis with people parking their cars halfway on my sidewalk, blocking the driveway and parking motorcycles on my sidewalk , playing music so loud you can’t hear your family’s conversation, cars going through lights, speeding and making illegal turns all without seeing anyone ticketing these vehicles. If it wasn’t that I’m too old to become a traffic cop, I’d do it now. People need to stop making excuses for breaking the law. If you break the law, pay the price.

  • Do officers recieve commission or bonus for achieving quotas?

  • Matt,

    Great post, as usual. Mayor Bloomberg conducts NYC business as the business wunderkind he is…Goals, rewards and consequences. Problem is he seems to be ignoring his corporate charter, the Constitution.

    I didn’t realize NY State law specifically prohibits quotas. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • I personally know an NYPD Captain of the Queens Borough Patrol Unit and he himself has indirectly admitted to me that quotas exist because the police department is just another revenue generation machine for the city. Yes, quotas are illegal, but they exist and nobody is there to stop it from happening, and not even internal affairs enforces this illegal practice. I’m not knocking on cops, but they’re all in on it and not doing a single thing to stop it because many of their promotions depend on fulfilling these quotas.


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