Illinois bill would outlaw ticket quotas

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, May 01, 2014

A bill halfway through the Illinois statehouse would prevent law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees.

The Senate voted 57-1 last month to advance a bill that would eliminate citation quotas for state, county and municipal police officers. Specifically, the bill would forbid any requirement “to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time.”

Sponsored by 19 senators and 13 representatives, the bill would prohibit law enforcement agencies from evaluating personnel based on the number of tickets written or arrests made.

Departments, however, could continue to use officer contacts as an evaluative tool. The practice covers any instance where an officer makes contact with someone.

Supporters say there are better ways to evaluate officers.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, however, opposes the effort.

“While law enforcement executives strongly agree with eliminating the imposition of arbitrary traffic ticket quotas, the bill would also eliminate vital data-driven performance measures used to assist in the performance appraisal of police officers,” Association Executive Director John H. Kennedy said in a news release.

He also said there is no “one size fits all” standard of performance for law enforcement. Instead, Kennedy said that chiefs need to have the ability to “establish performance measures and expectations specific to their individual agencies.”

A provision added to the bill would allow for quotas when enforcement funding comes from federal or state grants. Programs include DUI checkpoints, seat belt checks and truck enforcement.

The House Labor and Commerce Committee is scheduled to consider SB3411 on Wednesday, May 7.

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