Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quota-Free Policing

Should there be quotas for tickets and arrests in police work? Should law enforcement officers be rewarded for the number of tickets they issue or arrests they make? Is there a Success board at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, where deputies who are the "Leaders" in ticket-writing top the list and get promoted based on their numbers?

If a deputy writes three tickets to a driver during a traffic stop, including arresting him and transporting him to the McHenry County Jail, is he a top performer? But what happens when that driver goes to court and two of the tickets result in no conviction and the driver gets Supervision on the third ticket -- meaning, if he keeps his nose clean for a few months, then even that ticket goes away? - although the fine and court costs are not refunded!

So the bottom line is - even though that driver was arrested and taken to jail, incurring time and expense of numerous deputies (not just the arresting deputy) - nothing really happened. And what if that arrest was the result of racial profiling?

What if a driver with a brown face drives past a deputy, the deputy runs the license plate and finds that the owner of the vehicle doesn't possess a driver's license, and then the deputy makes a traffic stop? The deputy doesn't really know that a violation exists, because he doesn't know whether or not it is the owner who is driving the vehicle. Is that a valid arrest, barring any actual traffic violation that gives the deputy "probable cause" to stop the driver?

Now the sheriff's department will put deputies through a "Quota-Free Policing" program. Why would something like this be needed, if procedures were not otherwise to start with? Have we been living with "Quota Policing" system up until now?

In McHenry County we have the Law & Justice Committee of the McHenry County Board. What does it really do? The composition of that Committee is changing, due to the recent loss of elected positions by at least two of its members. What interest does this Committee take in the operation of the sheriff's department? Any?

The Committee may be limited in what it can demand of the Sheriff, since the Office of Sheriff is an elected post.

We should want deputies (and police officers) in this County who enforce the laws fair, evenly, equally and impartially. Regarding traffic violations, there are so many now that no quota would be necessary. A driver with sharp eyes can detect many violations along every mile of roadway in the County.

So maybe we need neither quota nor quota-free policing. Policing will be just fine. Deputies know the laws. Once they are properly trained and supervised, there should be no problems with even enforcement. Supervisors should keep a sharp eye on those deputies who produce inordinately high numbers to be certain they are doing their job properly and within legal boundaries.


JoeMama said...

WOW!!!! You really do have all the answers Gus. Maybe you should run for sheriff. NO? That's right you would rather sit behind your computer in your own sad little world an comment on how everyone is not up to your standards...

It makes me sad to sit back and see how truely misinformed you are. If you knew anything at all you would know that the men and women of the Sheriff's department are amoung the best trained and hardest working in the county.

If you are so dissatisfied with the state of the counties law enforcement maybe you should move somewhere else......but then again you are the type of person that would not be happy anywhere.

Gus said...

JoeMama, thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear that you are so sad. As for me, I've been happy everywhere I've lived - except for the 4 1/2 months in L.A.

Yes, there are many deputies and employees at the sheriff's department who are excellent employees, doing their jobs honestly and fully earning their pay.

You seem to be on the "inside"; so tell us all how it really is. Send me a photo of the Stats board with the names of the "producers". I'll be happy to publish it. Or has it been taken down?

Tell us who the "leaders" on the Stats board are and how many of their arrests and tickets have resulted in conviction.

Write again soon.

Gene said...

The Sheriff posts a list every month congratulating the big ticket writers of the dept. and also promotes from that list. Is that what it means to be a good cop.Tie yourself up on BS tickets while your fellow deputies respond to emergency calls.

Zane said...

To JoeMama, that is exactly the way a supervisor at the Sheriff's department would respond to dissent. I quote "maybe you should move somewhere else." Not I'm concerned about how the public views the department, not, we will strive to accomplish the mission statement. Not, we welcome honest feed back and disscusion. Instead, "If you are dissatisfied with the state of the counties law enforcement maybe you should move somewhere else." Nice! You should watch what you write, General Orders state that you shouldn't be participating in this forum because I believe you just made the department sound uncaring towards the public. I was disciplined for calling a guy "shady". Telling citizens to move away....SOUNDS LIKE AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION WAITING TO HAPPEN.

Gus said...

For sure, I definitely felt that the sheriff's department is uncaring after I read JoeMama's comment. Maybe even a little concerned that I might be a target for certain deputies who spot me in my "basic undercover car." They might spot me at 30MPH in a 30 zone and charge me with impeding traffic.
Telling me to "move away" actually sounds kind of threatening to me.
Good thing I understand the "game", unlike some other law-abiding folks in McHenry County who are now very afraid that deputies might come back and kick their front door in again.

Unknown said...

oh frank, why dont you send the police to track this guy down by his ip. publish all of his private information on here and where he works. heck its prob not even any law enforcement agency.

Unknown said...

"Maybe even a little concerned that I might be a target for certain deputies who spot me in my "basic undercover car." They might spot me at 30MPH in a 30 zone and charge me with impeding traffic." You have already brought this on yourself years ago with your bias towards the local police agencies.

Gus said...

ace, if you're in the cops-and-robbers game, which side are you on?

I suspect there might be a whole set of laws that apply to situations when police target someone who speaks out and calls attention to the wrongs that exist. Retaliation? Discrimination? Violation of Code of Conduct?

My bias isn't just toward local law enforcement. When Illinois State Police troopers are speeding (just moving down the road at 70 in a 55MPH zone; no lights, siren), I don't mind asking their supervising sergeants to remind the troopers to obey speed limits.

When a trooper pulled off on the shoulder of I-90 after I blinked my headlights at him after he sped past me and then pulled back onto the roadway and tailgated me, his sergeant investigated and confirmed my suspicion that he did so to attempt to intimidate me. The sergeant asked if I wanted to file a formal complaint, but I was satisfied with the sergeant's assurance that he had spoken firmly with the trooper. Does that sound like bias?

Or how about deputies (plural!) or police officers (plural) who refuse to accept traffic complaints about dangerous drivers? If I am biased, it's about their individual actions, not against law enforcement officers in general.

Or how about an FBI agent who uses the shoulder of Route 47 and his siren to illegally pass 3-4 cars and then pulls back onto the road and proceeds 4-5 miles in heavy traffic without using the siren further? He got a wake-up call from his supervisor.

Traffic laws are for all.

Gus said...

What the McHenry County Sheriff's Department needs is an Internal Affairs Division. IADs investigate allegations of wrong-doing by employees of their own departments. Of course, you have to be sure that the wolf isn't put in charge of the hen house.

find the owners manual you fool said...

Or the idiot in charge of the village.