The Voice’s NYPD Tapes series isn’t the first time that someone has raised the notion that the explosion in the number of stop-and-frisks is related to the demand for numbers from police headquarters. (See also our first article here.)
In the summer, 2005, Mubarak Abdul-Jabbar, a high-ranking official with the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association penned a column for the union’s magazine which made that very point.
“In many commands over the past few years, the department has instituted an ill-advised stop-and-frisk quota system that harms both police officers and the citizens they’re sworn to protect,” wrote Abdul-Jabbar, the second vice president of a union which represents more than 30,000 police officers.
Abdul-Jabbar suggests that less experienced officers may be unknowingly subjecting themselves to civilian complaints and lawsuits in trying to make their quota numbers. He reports that in the 75th Precinct, officers were expected to do 15 to 20 stops per month.
“The PBA is concerned that UF-250 quotas are fostering an environment in which intimidated officers, especially less experienced ones, under intense pressure from equally threatened superiors, may conduct stops based on less than reasonable suspicion and more on a reasonable belief that failure to do so may result in some form of penalty,” he writes.