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Thread: Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.com

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.com

    "Hanners blew the whistle on the department’s tactics and was eventually fired for refusing to comply and keep quiet. He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made. The Auburn police department declined requests to be interviewed for this story."

    http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/07/2...priorities-fir

    "Former Reason staffer Radley Balko ... says that this isn’t just a nuisance, it infringes on public safety."
    Hyperion| 7.24.13 @ 12:26PM Well, at least we now know that a cop can be fired for something.
    LOL
    Last edited by Nightmare; 07-24-2013 at 06:58 PM.
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    Wow. Sickening. I wonder what it would take to change the state of things. Like, ultimately, who has hiring and firing power? I'd assume the chief of police or equivalent position, but couldn't that be overridden by a city council or something? I'm sure it could be different per state and city. Forgive my ignorance.

    "Hanners repeatedly voiced his concerns through his chain of command, and the department responded that these requirements are necessary for increasing productivity.

    Yet Hanners firmly believes that the quotas are entirely revenue driven."

    No ****.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 07-24-2013 at 07:03 PM.

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    He's out of a job with no recourse, this won't fall under any wrongful discharge or retaliatory discharge current case law?

    New York City, craphole of the nation, cop also got fired ~8 yrs ago, same thing.

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.

    When I first read the thread title, I was outraged. My son lived in Auburn and still owns a home there.

    Then I read the details in the article and saw that the title was deceptive. The quota is for contacts, not just tickets and arrests. Tickets and arrests are two types of contacts. Warnings and interviews are two more. The quota amounts to five per day, based on a typical work-month of 20 days.

    It sounds more like a way to ensure the cops are being productive. The numbers are probably used to rate officers on annual evaluations as not meeting, meeting, or exceeding expectations.

    Five a day ain't much at all.

    This story is a big 10-meh.


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    I worked under a similar situation it was very easy to meet one didn't have to work hard at all to find enough contacts.

    Every thing counted helping a motorist, warning for a taillight, giving some one directions, removing debris from the highway the list goes on. One didn't have to write citations or make arrest's to meet it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I worked under a similar situation it was very easy to meet one didn't have to work hard at all to find enough contacts.

    Every thing counted helping a motorist, warning for a taillight, giving some one directions, removing debris from the highway the list goes on. One didn't have to write citations or make arrest's to meet it.
    But if the last shift of the month an officer is 10 - 15 shy, he has to find someone to harass about something, jaywalking, 4 - 5 MPH over speed limit, parking 1" too far from the curb, or just harassment because a citizen doing nothing wrong 'looks suspicious'.

    The enemy has been identified, the law abiding citizens of Albany GA.
    Last edited by XD40sc; 07-24-2013 at 09:59 PM.

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.

    Do you realize how piss-poor job a cop in Auburn would have to be doing not to have met his goal halfway through the month???

    If an officer needed 10-15 contacts on the last day, HE is the problem, not the policy. And still, if he did his job that last day, he'd be able to get those contacts without writing a single ticket or making a single arrest.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Do you realize how piss-poor job a cop in Auburn would have to be doing not to have met his goal halfway through the month???

    If an officer needed 10-15 contacts on the last day, HE is the problem, not the policy. And still, if he did his job that last day, he'd be able to get those contacts without writing a single ticket or making a single arrest.


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    So they are assigned to a patrol area that virtually nothing happens, everyone comes to a complete stop at stop signs, no one has a flat or car trouble, no one speeds, or litters, spits on the sidewalk, or picks up their dog poo when they walk their dog? Stop people that have nothing wrong, challenge their right to be where they are, cause it looks suspicious? Oh wait, isn't that profiling.

    Or work the graveyard shift where most people are home in bed, and there is no Huddle House in his patrol area where he could chat up the few people that are out and about.
    Last edited by XD40sc; 07-24-2013 at 10:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    When I first read the thread title, I was outraged. My son lived in Auburn and still owns a home there.

    Then I read the details in the article and saw that the title was deceptive. The quota is for contacts, not just tickets and arrests. Tickets and arrests are two types of contacts. Warnings and interviews are two more. The quota amounts to five per day, based on a typical work-month of 20 days.

    It sounds more like a way to ensure the cops are being productive. The numbers are probably used to rate officers on annual evaluations as not meeting, meeting, or exceeding expectations.

    Five a day ain't much at all.

    This story is a big 10-meh.


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    I think you missed something--certainly you've left it out of your comments.

    While required to have 100 contacts a month, only forty were for traffic warnings. The rest were for traffic tickets, field interviews, non-traffic citations, and arrests. That means sixty contacts a month fishing for crime, traffic tickets, arrests and citations.

    The problem with quotas isn't productivity. Its the incentive/pressure to detain, cite, or arrest when perhaps the situation does not merit such. Its the difference between an peace officer and a law enforcement officer.

    The officer's anecdote about the drunk who wasn't causing any problem and wasn't endangering anybody was quite instructive, as was his experience when he talked to the legal assistance agency who said they'd received the same complaint from other officers in other areas.
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    Couldn't they just follow the Auburn football team around and get all 100 contacts per month in a week or so?

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    Cops nowadays are nothing more then revenue generating salespersons with a badge and gun operating under color of law.

    If all citizens refused to pay all the so called fines,fees and penalties, I wonder what would happen? How would the jails hold all us criminals?

    Where would they put all the jails?

    Interesting that the FOP or PBA failed to assist Mr.Hanners in this dispute. Hopefully in Mr.Hanners civil litigation the thievery upon the citizens of Auburn AL will be exposed for all to witness.

    My wish for speedy employment to Mr.Hanner along with a successful lawsuit.

    CCJ

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    It's like our health care system.

    Doctors get rich, not by making people healthier or saving lives, but by the number of tests and procedures they inflict on their patients, outcome doesn't factor in to the goal.

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    People stand around all day accusing cops of spending all their time at donut shops, and then are surprised to find out that something has been put in place to make the cops account for their time.

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.

    Field interviews aren't necessarily "fishing for crime." It is what officers DO. They take calls and see people. Homeowner calls, reports a noise in the backyard, officer responds, talks to homeowner, finds nothing. One contact.

    These contacts are what officers do. They'd have to put forth serious effort NOT to have 100 contacts in a month.


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    On my first ride along, I rode with a young officer who had lost his parents to a drunk speeder. In our eight hour shift, forty speeding tickets were issued and one warning - all legitimate in my estimation. In no instance did he inquire about weapons or contraband or invoke officer safety.

    At that time the department was authorized a bit more than two patrol officers per thousand population, and that number has only slightly increased in the twenty years since - still less than 3/1000. The non-commissioned community service officer program has been put in place and expanded but I don't know how many CSO's are employed now.

    At some time home security alarm systems were required to be licensed for the workload caused by them and their too frequent false alarms. Now, at some point, a homeowner will be fined for his false alarms.

    The department did not, and does not that I know, have a required contact rate.

    At the other end of the spectrum was the officer assigned to the Unemployment Tree who would spend his shift studying exam material and discouraging prospective drug deals. I was shown the Unemployment Tree while riding in a marked 15-passenger van that was driven by a uniformed officer. Still a sub-teen bicycled alongside offering drugs for sale.

    I noticed recently that the officer I knew as SRT supervisor has made Chief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    On my first ride along, I rode with a young officer who had lost his parents to a drunk speeder. In our eight hour shift, forty speeding tickets were issued and one warning - all legitimate in my estimation. In no instance did he inquire about weapons or contraband or invoke officer safety.

    .
    40 tickets a shift? That's about 1 every 10 minutes ... sounds like the speed limits needed to be changed ... he got done writing 1 ticket when he pulls over another.

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    Former Officer Hanners is either to be believed or his not to be believed. He states, on the record, that what he and his fellow officers were directed to do was to arrest where a violation of the law was not evident.
    That led to the department encouraging officers to arrest people that Hanners “didn’t feel like had broken the law.”
    The premise that a officer needs to be, or must be seen as being, productive is not logical. LE is not a business that requires higher productivity. Quite the opposite must be true if respecting and preserving individual liberty is a LEAs primary concern.

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.

    That is a conclusion on his part, not necessarily a true fact or a false allegation.

    It is likely how HE chose to meet his quota. Again, the policy was 100 CONTACTS, not tickets, arrests, or Terry stops.

    If he was not near 100 by the end of the month, sure he would've felt pressured to make a bunch of contacts, and tickets and bad stops would've been easy contacts. Or, he could have just simply done his job all month and hit the goal on about the 15th.


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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    40 tickets a shift? That's about 1 every 10 minutes ... sounds like the speed limits needed to be changed ... he got done writing 1 ticket when he pulls over another.
    Change speed limits, up or down?

    We worked an interstate extension I-5XX and an urban boulevard. I-5XX was posted then at 55 mph, now 70 mph, and observing 100+ mph is common - so are TA's. The boulevard was divided four-lane leading to a grossly sub-standard two lane bridge. Now it's under continuous construction with six lanes plus frontage access, round-abouts ... I'm glad I'm gone.
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    He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made.
    There is not enough information and there will likely never be a complete story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I think you missed something--certainly you've left it out of your comments.

    While required to have 100 contacts a month, only forty were for traffic warnings. The rest were for traffic tickets, field interviews, non-traffic citations, and arrests. That means sixty contacts a month fishing for crime, traffic tickets, arrests and citations.

    The problem with quotas isn't productivity. Its the incentive/pressure to detain, cite, or arrest when perhaps the situation does not merit such. Its the difference between an peace officer and a law enforcement officer.

    The officer's anecdote about the drunk who wasn't causing any problem and wasn't endangering anybody was quite instructive, as was his experience when he talked to the legal assistance agency who said they'd received the same complaint from other officers in other areas.
    +1

    This is to make sure they don't lower taxes and can keep stealing money and hide the fact they might not be as needed as they tell the public.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The premise that a officer needs to be, or must be seen as being, productive is not logical. LE is not a business that requires higher productivity. Quite the opposite must be true if respecting and preserving individual liberty is a LEAs primary concern.
    In labor law terminology, police officers are "engaged to wait", not "waiting to engage". That's why they are paid even if they're doing nothing at all.

    I'm in a related profession, and when people ask if it gets exciting, I say, "My goal is eight hours of boredom. If things get interesting, it means someone screwed up."

    Administrators who want to see evidence of productivity aren't really interested in productivity; they're interested in documentation. It doesn't take long before officers figure this out and start pencil-whipping many of these "contacts".

    If an officer in Auburn or anywhere else spends his entire shift without a single contact (assuming he isn't ignoring crime), it doesn't mean he hasn't done his job -- it means he has done his job superbly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    ...
    It is likely how HE chose to meet his quota. Again, the policy was 100 CONTACTS, not tickets, arrests, or Terry stops.
    ...
    Are you kidding me? This entire thread is about him choosing not to meet his quota. He didn't just "fail" to make enough BS stops. He actively and openly refused a direct command from a superior to make an arrest that he believed would be a wrongful arrest.

    Moreover, you're simply wrong about the policy. Why don't you try reading the article again, and listening to the instructions of his superior, which is audible in the video presented in the linked article?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 07-25-2013 at 07:48 PM.

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    Auburn, AL Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas. Reason.

    Shall I deal with the horse hockey first or the bull squirt?

    Horse hockey!

    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    In labor law terminology, police officers are "engaged to wait", not "waiting to engage". That's why they are paid even if they're doing nothing at all...
    That sounds like the clever turn of phrase invented by labor advocates trying to justify their existence in a day and age when unions are no longer necessary and do far more damage than they do good.

    One could easily also say that officers are engaged (hired) to wait to engage (make contacts).

    And now for the bull squirt.

    If an officer in Auburn or anywhere else spends his entire shift without a single contact (assuming he isn't ignoring crime), it doesn't mean he hasn't done his job -- it means he has done his job superbly.
    If an officer is doing his job, he is not ignoring crime. He is also not ignoring violations that are not crimes. If that is the case, he cannot help but make contact. He will get calls requiring response. He will observe violations, many (if not most) of which will prompt a warning. He will investigate accidents. He will talk to witnesses.

    Any officer doing his job, and not wearing blinders, will make five contacts a day on average easily. This standard is so laughably easy that we can only imagine that this cop was so lazy as to not stop any violator, and when he did, he wouldn't document the contact, giving only a "verbal warning," resulting in his inability to demonstrate that he was doing the most basic of jobs, prompting him to bitch about the (should have been easy) standard, garnering an "Oh, knock it off!" from his superiors, and a dismissal when he wouldn't meet this simple standard and kept bitching to everyone who would listen, earning a "Just go away!" from those in charge.

    If this were the least bit challenging standard, I'd be with this guy. It ain't. I ain't.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Shall I deal with the horse hockey first or the bull squirt?

    Horse hockey!



    That sounds like the clever turn of phrase invented by labor advocates trying to justify their existence in a day and age when unions are no longer necessary and do far more damage than they do good.

    One could easily also say that officers are engaged (hired) to wait to engage (make contacts).

    And now for the bull squirt.



    If an officer is doing his job, he is not ignoring crime. He is also not ignoring violations that are not crimes. If that is the case, he cannot help but make contact. He will get calls requiring response. He will observe violations, many (if not most) of which will prompt a warning. He will investigate accidents. He will talk to witnesses.

    Any officer doing his job, and not wearing blinders, will make five contacts a day on average easily. This standard is so laughably easy that we can only imagine that this cop was so lazy as to not stop any violator, and when he did, he wouldn't document the contact, giving only a "verbal warning," resulting in his inability to demonstrate that he was doing the most basic of jobs, prompting him to bitch about the (should have been easy) standard, garnering an "Oh, knock it off!" from his superiors, and a dismissal when he wouldn't meet this simple standard and kept bitching to everyone who would listen, earning a "Just go away!" from those in charge.

    If this were the least bit challenging standard, I'd be with this guy. It ain't. I ain't.


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    Am I on ignore? Must be, along with all of the facts in this discussion!

    I'm questioning whether or not eye95 has even read the article a first time.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 07-25-2013 at 10:53 PM.

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