Illinois law prohibiting ticket quotas in effect Jan. 1

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/23/2014

After the calendar turns over to 2015, a new rule taking effect in Illinois is aimed at preventing law enforcement officers from going on ticket-writing sprees.

Gov. Pat Quinn has said the new law in effect Jan. 1 will 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 previous news release.

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

Another new rule prohibits 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, 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“Using the number of citations is an outdated and ineffective evaluation tool,” he stated.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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