Mayor Bloomberg must have quite a sense of humor for saying today that the NYPD “does not have quotas,” in response to the PBA ad published in this morning’s Daily News.
He must be joking to take that position after what’s happened over the past two years: the dozen or so police officers who have publicly disclosed the existence of quotas, the class action lawsuit by New Yorkers against quotas, the recent legislation that has passed on quotas, and the tape recordings, published in the Voice, of police supervisors pressuring cops and actually quoting specific numbers of summonses and stop and frisks that each officer is required to hit.
And yet, there he was, pretending that elephant in the corner does not exist. “You know it’s always an issue,” the mayor declared this morning. “Does the Police Department measure productivity? Of course they do. They’re supposed to do that. They have a responsibility to do that.”
“We do not have quotas,” he added. “My recollection is quotas per say are illegal, so we certainly don’t have them.”
In their ad, the PBA’s advertisement attacked the department for pressuring officers to hit quotas and then punishing them if their tickets are tossed from traffic court.
“Don’t blame the cop,” the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association ad says. “Blame NYPD management, for the pressure to write summonses and the pressure to convict motorists.”
“They are still sending Internal Affairs sergeants to harass our guys at traffic court,” explains PBA spokesman Al O’Leary. “They are pressing our guys to write summonses, and hitting them with three days lost vacation, costing them $900, if they don’t dot an i and cross a t. Our members are furious.”
Kelly’s crackdown on summons writing stems from the ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx, in which officers were caught on tape discussing how they made summonses disappear as favors to motorists. The effort, however, has angered the rank-and-file, as excessive and unnecessary, and a waste of Internal Affairs man-hours.
The ad depicts a police officer holding a summons book with his hand out, as an irritated woman hands him her drivers license.
“Because of ticket quotas, New York City police officers are being subjected to undue pressure to write summonses to as many motorists as possible, and they are being subjected to undue pressure to convict as many motorists as possible,” the ad says.
“With all these pressures, the cop loses, the public loses and the traffic court justice system loses,” the ad concludes. “The only winner may be the city’s treasury, which collects either from the cop or the motorist.”
–Sam Levin contributed reporting.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 7, 2012