The process for evaluating New York City police officers, criticized as a quota system, will soon be replaced with a less numbers-focused program, reports the Wall Street Journal. Scheduled for mid-May, it will replace a system criticized by a federal judge in a 2013 ruling that found the way the police department used the stop-and-frisk crime-fighting tactic was unconstitutional. Officials said the goal is for the system to be more focused on addressing crime conditions in the neighborhoods where officers are assigned.
The change comes as the department deals with the fallout from high-profile cases of alleged police abuse, as well as calls from critics to change the “broken windows” policing practice of aggressively targeting low-level offenses in hopes of deterring more significant ones. The policy is championed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton. The current evaluation program, known as Quest for Excellence, requires the nearly 35,000 officers to fill out daily and monthly activity reports measuring productivity in terms of hours worked, arrests made, summonses issued and reports prepared. Patrick Lynch, president of the police officers union, said Quest for Excellence is a “veiled attempt at legitimizing illegal enforcement quotas that this union has opposed since its introduction.”