Dallas Chief: Use Ticket Count In Cop Evaluations


Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle he favors repealing some aspects of a state law prohibiting traffic ticket quotas, in order to hold his officers more accountable for what they do while on patrol, says the Dallas Morning News. Civil rights and police groups believe tinkering with the law could lead to officers’ writing tickets backed up with little or no probable cause just to get better evaluations. It is illegal for a police department to “evaluate, promote, compensate or discipline” an officer “according to the officer’s issuance of a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of traffic citations.” The law prohibits requiring an officer to write a certain number of citations within a specified period. Kunkle believes the law “was intended to be directed to those cities that drew a significant amount of their city revenue from traffic enforcement.”

Kunkle said people are demanding greater traffic enforcement in Dallas. “There is also a strong relation between traffic stops affecting crime fighting,” the chief said. “Crooks that get from point A to point B to commit a crime almost always do that in a vehicle. Traffic stops allow us to see what is in their car, to check for warrants to determine if the car is stolen. So there are a lot of good things that occur from traffic enforcement rather than just traffic safety.” Michael Linz of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said that if an officer is evaluated on the number of tickets he writes in a period of time, “then all the discretion will go out the window and tickets will be written in marginal cases, probable cause or not.”

Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/010605dnmettickets.372b7.html

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