Illinois lawmakers send bill prohibiting ticket quotas to governor

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/2/2014

A bill headed to the governor’s desk is intended to prevent Illinois law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees.

The House voted 106-9 to approve 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.”

SB3411 now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 57-1 vote.

If signed into law, law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited 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, such as traffic stops, arrests and written warnings.

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 recent news release.

He also contends 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 change made to the bill would exempt Chicago from the requirements. Advocates for the change say that Chicago has its own system of oversight in place.

The governor has 60 days to decide whether he will sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

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