No matter how often the New York City Police Department denies the existence of quotas, many New Yorkers will swear that officers are sometimes forced to write a certain number of tickets in a certain amount of time. Now, in a secret recording made in a police station in Brooklyn, there is persuasive evidence of the existence of quotas, says the New York Times. The hourlong recording was made by a police supervisor during a meeting in April of supervisors from the 81st Precinct. Police officials have long denied the existence of a quota system, but they do have “performance goals” they expect officers to meet.
The recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued – even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated. On the tape, a police captain, Alex Perez, can be heard warning his top commanders that their officers must start writing more summonses or face consequences. Perez offered a precise number and suggested a method. He said each officer on a day tour should write 20 summonses a week: five each for double-parking, parking at a bus stop, driving without a seat belt and driving while using a cellphone.