Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gentle Reader Lordfarquad Query: Does Anyone Know What the Deadline is for OPD's Traffic Ticket Quotas?

We invite any public safety officers or others who read this blog to set the record straight regarding the good Lord F's query

Gentle Reader Lordfarquad
poses an interesting question in one of our comments sections down below:
Does anyone know what the deadline is for OPD's traffic ticket quotas? I could be wrong, but it seems like I see a rash of cars pulled over by OPD right around the 20th-25th of each month. Anyone know? Maybe I'm just imagining it.
Lord F asks a question broad and important enough to deserve front page space; and traffic ticket quotas have also of course been a frequent topic of discussion here at WCF. So we have no hesitation to again dive into a discussion on this topic, especially on an otherwise slow news day.

Inasmuch as OPD personnel are evaluated for traffic citation production at periodic intervals, we'll take a wild guess, for starters, that tallies are compiled at the end of every month, which would support Lord F's hunch that traffic officers may be scrambling to make quotas around the times of the month that he's set forth.

We'll confess that this is merely speculation on our part however, and will therefore invite any public safety officers who read this blog to set the record straight, regarding the good Lord F's query.

And what about the rest of our readers? Do any of you wish to share your anecdotal observations about OPD traffic citations being possibly bunched-up around the end of the month?


another humble servant said...

It's the end of the month. They have to write x number per month to have a satisfactory evaluation for the cheesey non funded pay for performance program implemented by the Little Lord F.

So the folks are making sure they have their minimum required amount of contacts done for the month.

ozboy said...

I think another pertinent question regarding this subject must be - are there innocent people being ticketed because of the well known ticket quota system in Ogden, or is it that those who routinely break the traffic laws are just getting caught more?

Another could be - are more serious crimes going un-investigated because the cops have the pressure to write more tickets and raise more money from traffic offenses?

Curmudgeon said...

I know nothing about how jobs are assigned in the OPD, but in most cities I've lived in, I think a certain number of police each shift are assigned to traffic duty, aren't they?

Jennifer said...

Hmmm ... so they're out writing tickets like mad while I'm hearing dozen's of gunshots just to the north of my house yesterday early afternoon ... it was sounding like shotguns and others returning fire

bam .. .. .. blam, blam .. .. .. bam .. .. blam, blam, blam .. .. .. bam .. .. bam .. .. blam, blam ..

and so on. Priorities.


Waterboy said...

Hey, gunshots do not bring in the city any money. Tickets=Revenue. I have heard that the mayor tries to sell off the notion that the city does not make any money on citations. Hmmmmmm. I thought that the main focus behind the starting of the Justice Court was to keep the citation revenue in the city rather than sending on to the state. I dunno

rolling stop said...

The Justice Court is another of Boss Godfreys' cash cows. They make damn good money from it. Fines and forfietures from the Justice Court contributed $2,339,788 to the City for a total of 4.3% of revenue for FY 2010, a decrease from FY 2009 of $2,708,901.11

ozboy said...

Mr Curmudgeon

You are right about most police departments having a traffic division who's responsibility is enforcing traffic laws. They also have what is generally known as the "Patrol" department that is charged with responding to various police calls from the citizens covering a very wide range of problems and crimes. Then there is the Detective departments who investigate crimes. There are other lesser and smaller departments as well - things like internal affairs, public relations, etc.

The problem, as I recall it anyway, with the Ogden police ticket quota is that it applied to all officers in all divisions. In other words, the patrol officers and detectives were required to write their quota of tickets as well as the traffic officers. It seemed to me that it was a large waste of time and talent to require detectives and other officers who were actually combating crime to take time away from those duties to write traffic tickets. On the other hand having a quota for traffic officers seems reasonable as that would be the gold standard in evaluating their job performance.

South Bench said...

Ogden City:
Write more tickets, write more expensive tickets, write as many tickets as you can.

Thank you,
Ogden City Drivers

lordfarquad said...

Presumably, tickets are given to people who break traffic laws. The question is if we're using city resources to enforce minor traffic laws that could perhaps be used elsewhere.

For example, an acquaintance of mine was ticketed for failing to signal that he was making a right turn - when he was already in the right-turn lane.

Obviously, there's no argument he broke the law. But was the 15 or 20 minutes the officer spent gathering license/reg info, verifying the info, checking his DL record, writing the ticket, explaining the ticket to the driver, etc. etc. really an effective use of time? Not to mention the fact that if they really ticketed everyone who failed to use a turn signal, half the state would be in jail right now?

I am *not* trying to justify breaking the law by saying everyone does it. Personally it irritates the hell out of me when I see someone fail to signal. Do I want OPD spending time ticketing that? Not until OPD is fully staffed and quotas are gone. I won't take any bets on how long it'll be 'til either of those things happen.

I am frustrated, however, by seemingly inane traffic enforcement solely for the purpose of revenue. IMHO, the revenue from traffic tickets should go to something to help Ogden City - things like after school programs, domestic violence prevention, etc. Not velodromes and ice towers. It's far too much of a conflict of interest.

I would rather see OPD cleaning up real crime rather than going after petty mistakes in order to make quotas. I have no problem with traffic warnings besides the wasted time involved, but my gut instinct tells me this doesn't happen very often - unless they've already hit their quota for the month.

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