In an unusual public push-back at Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the city’s police officers union ran an ad in today’s Daily News, attacking 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.”