Investigators from the New York police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will be assigned to monitor the city's traffic courts in an effort to determine whether police officers are intentionally losing cases as favors to colleagues, the New York Times reports. The formation of the Court Monitoring Unit is the latest step to address concerns of a pervasive culture of ticket-fixing.
The Bronx district attorney has found evidence that police officers sometimes ask their union delegates to help get rid of traffic tickets received by friends or relatives. Sometimes, a union delegate would try to find an officer in the precinct who was willing to pull the ticket from the summons box. The department tried to end that practice last summer, when it began electronically scanning each summons to identify those that disappeared after being issued. Investigators from the new unit will spend time in courtrooms observing cases, looking for instances in which officers did not show up or an officer's testimony raised questions.