The New York PBA (Police Benevolent Association) began running a series of radio ads last week highlighting the pressure New York City cops are under to issue traffic summonses and win in court when the summonses are challenged.
The ads are thought to be in response to the NYPD ticket fixing scandal, which has resulted in the indictment of more than a dozen police officers so far.
The PBA claims that officers “are getting docked vacation days if they forget events on the stand in traffic court, or if their memo books are missing descriptions of the circumstances that led to the issuance of a traffic ticket.”
Union officials argue that officers are given an incentive to lie on the stand if they cannot remember details of a traffic stop.
Union President Patrick Lynch claims that ““Our officers are under constant pressure from management to write more and more summonses. Now, management’s making it worse by unfairly punishing police officers who lose a case and that has to stop.”
There seems little doubt that the recent financial downturn has caused the city to look to traffic summonses to generate revenue. The department may now be operating under a quota system, but the police department would likely deny its existence.
NYPD spokesman Paul Brown denies the allegations made by the union:
” Contrary to critics, officers are neither punished for purportedly ‘losing’ traffic court cases, nor for clerical errors. In only those cases where an officer fails to appear or testify without a legitimate or valid reason, is the officer subject to potential disciplinary action…”
Please keep in mind that nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.