The Falls Church, Va., police chief has fired the officer who heads the city’s police union and has suspended the union’s vice president after they publicly discussed problems with their department’s ticket quotas and guns, reports the Washington Post. The union’s leaders noted in 2004 that Falls Church officers were being evaluated based partially on high quotas for writing traffic tickets. They said officers were writing multiple tickets in one traffic stop rather than pursuing more time-consuming matters such as drunk drivers. The police later eliminated ticket quotas in the evaluations.
Officer Scott Rhodes, 38, the union president, said he was faced with numerous internal violations after his comments were published in The Washington Post. He was fired June 30. Chief Robert T. Murray provided Rhodes with five reasons for the firing, all unrelated to Rhodes’s public comments. Rhodes said two of the violations were being appealed, one was found to be baseless by internal affairs, and two were never investigated. Murray would not comment, saying he would not discuss personnel matters to “honor each employee’s right to confidentiality and privacy.” Rhodes said he was fired “because I brought matters of public concern to the community.”