New Illinois law prohibits ticket quotas

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/10/2014

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that would prevent Illinois law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees. That new law took effect immediately.

The governor, who signed the bill in June, said the new law is part of his agenda to maintain integrity in local government.

“This new law will improve safety and working conditions for police officers and prevent motorists from facing unnecessary anxiety when they encounter a police vehicle,” Quinn said in a news release.

The new law eliminates citation quotas for state, county and municipal police officers. Specifically, SB3411 forbids any requirement “to issue a specific number of citations within a designated period of time.”

House lawmakers approved the bill on a 106-9 vote after the Senate endorsed the rule on a 57-1 vote.

Also now in effect, law enforcement agencies are 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.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, said there are better ways to evaluate officers.

“Using the number of citations is an outdated and ineffective evaluation tool,” he stated. “It doesn’t lead to better policing, it doesn’t lead to better use of taxpayer money, and it doesn’t lead to better relationships with the community.”

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the rule change.

Association Executive Director John H. Kennedy previously issued a statement that there is no “one size fits all” standard of performance for law enforcement. Instead, he said that chiefs need to have the ability to “establish performance measures and expectations specific to their individual agencies.”

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