A directive to some Baltimore police officers appears to order them to meet quotas by making at least two arrests per week, reports the Baltimore Sun. Critics call it an example of how city police are pushing too hard to improve their crime statistics. The standard was laid out in a memo last month to Southwestern District officers who work the midnight-to-8 a.m. shift. It sets weekly minimum enforcement numbers for several other types of police action, including car stops, stop and frisks, curfew violations, and parking tickets. “You have made your supervisors look very good to the command staff both in the [Southwest District] and downtown,” says the memo obtained by The Sun. “However, we still have a few of you who do not wish to perform like the rest of us, thus, this memo.”
Though the directive is relatively low level – coming from three sergeants who supervise about three dozen officers – police union President Dan Fickus said department leadership is responsible for creating systemic pressure to lower crime numbers and increase arrest numbers. “This is pressure by command to produce more statistical data,” Fickus said. “Everything is geared to statistics, statistics, statistics.” Police officials say it’s an isolated memo, issued unbeknownst to Commissioner Kevin P. Clark. The order was largely intended, one officer said, so that officers would take statistical credit for actions they were already making. He said the officers were told that if they accurately reported better statistics for their actions, they would be able to give commanders a better picture of their productivity.