Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has vetoed a bill that was intended to quash police ticket quotas.
Ducey said in his veto message he was concerned the bill would prevent police chiefs from “objectively gauging performance in their departments.”
He also wrote that “while quotas for traffic complaints don’t currently appear to be happening in Arizona law enforcement entities, none of us want to see such policies implemented. Therefore, I understand the intent of House Bill 2410.”
The governor said he remains open to working to find ways to ensure quotas don’t become a practice in Arizona.
HB2410 called for prohibiting law enforcement agencies at the local, county and state level from requiring officers to issue a certain number of citations within a specific period of time.
Departments would have been prohibited from using the number of citations written by officers to determine rank.
One provision removed from the bill called for prohibiting departments from using the number of traffic tickets issued by officers to determine the officer’s classification.
The legislative push followed recent policy changes at the Tucson Police Department. In summer 2014, the department set a requirement for officers to issue one ticket each day. Addressing criticism, Chief Roberto Villasenor amended the policy last fall to require one “traffic contact” per day, which can be a citation or warning.
John Thomas, representing the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, has questioned whether a state law is necessary. He told legislators that since changes were made in Tucson his group is not aware of any ticket quota programs in the state.
Thomas also said the police chiefs do not want to lose one of their evaluative tools when making decisions on promotions.
The Legislature could choose to attempt to override the governor’s veto. A successful override would require two-thirds approval in both chambers.
House lawmakers previously approved the bill on a 48-9 vote. The Senate approved it with unanimous consent.
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