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Traffic ticket quotas would be banned in Ohio if lawmakers have their way

In World
June 10, 2024

Law enforcement agencies would be prohibited from imposing ticket or arrest quotas for officers to meet in a specific time period, if a bipartisan bill becomes Ohio law.

State Reps. Bride Rose Sweeney, D-Cleveland, and Kevin Miller, R-Newark, who is a former state trooper, are sponsoring a bill that would end the practice of requiring officers to meet quotas.

Miller said in written testimony that officers shouldn’t be used by managers to generate revenue and doing so undermines public trust. Banning quotas would allow officers to use professional discretion and public safety to guide when to make arrests or write tickets, he said.

The bill calls for an anonymous complaint system so officers could blow the whistle on employers who use quotas.

If it becomes law, Ohio would join dozens of other states that prohibit quotas.

A report by The Brennan Center for Justice said quotas are sometimes framed as productivity tools but often are used to raise money for local government coffers. In either case, quotas put pressure on officers and take away time that would be better spent on investigating complex or violent crime, the report said.

Ohio Fraternal Order of Police lobbyist Mike Weinman said it’s difficult to track which departments use quotas because they often call them “performance measures,” “activity,” or something else. But quotas are used, he said.

“It really drives a wedge (with the public) when all you’re doing is writing tickets to meet a quota. You’re not using professional discretion anymore,” Weinman said. “And a lot of them are just used for revenue generation, keep the mayors’ courts afloat or use the money for other things.”

Weinman added that the anonymous complaint system is an excellent way to prevent quiet continuation of quota practices.

House Bill 333 had it’s last hearing in the House Homeland Security Committee on June 5.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio considers ban on traffic ticket and arrest quotas for cops

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