Directing each of the city of St. Paul’s parking enforcement officers to write 55 violations per shift “is quota. Nothing but,” says St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario. “That’s what most of us think it is,” said a city parking officer. “That’s a lot of tickets and the concern is that if we don’t reach it, we will be written up.” In Syracuse, N.Y., a memo directed parking agents to write one ticket every 20 minutes to help boost city parking ticket revenue to $2.2 million. Failure to do so would result in a range of actions, from “counseling” to termination. “I want to trumpet this: There are no quotas for parking tickets,” said a Syracuse official last year. “These are productivity expectations.”
Most states, including Minnesota, ban quotas involving law enforcement officers. Parking enforcement agents, traditionally a stepping off point for becoming a police officer, are civilian employees. The 55-a-day edict leaves a bad taste with many folks. One is Sgt. John Delmonico, who heads the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. “Wow, I sure hope that doesn’t come over this way,” said Delmonico, who said the single biggest complaint his members get from the public is not crime but parking problems and tickets downtown.