Do police officers have a quota?
This is probably the number one question asked most. There are no known instances of
a department ordering (in writing) their officers to write a certain number of tickets
in a given period of time. Police work, however, is not unlike any other with performance
standards. If a police officer comes in at the end of their shift with no paperwork,
the boss is gonna wonder what in the world they were doing out there. If you work on
an assembly line, you are expected to produce "X" number of units per shift to show
that you are actually pulling your weight. Any smart departmental administration will
tell their officers that "if it is a valid violation and you feel that it needs to be
written up, do it". That may mean 30 tickets a month, it may only mean 3, but it should
be up to the officer's discretion as to whether or not a citation is issued. It also
depends a great deal on what the officer's primary assigned duties are. An undercover
narcotics officer, for example, is certainly not going to go around writing tickets
(unless one of his neighbors blocks his driveway), but a traffic officer who's primary
responsibility is traffic safety could easily rack up 15-25 per shift. Sadly, there is
no shortage of violations occurring. The key is, are they solid tickets that make sense.
It is always your right to dispute any ticket that you think was given unfairly.
What is ticket-fixing?
Their are many people along the chain from when you receive a ticket until it ends up on
your permanent DMV record who have the ability to alter the violation the ticket was given
for all the way to making it disappear. Ticket processing has become largely a computer
transaction in modern times. Anyone who has privileged access to the ticket database, which
might be another police officer, a criminal justice clerk, or a DMV employee, can make
alterations to the details of the original ticket all the way to having it rescinded. There
are a lot of tickets being fixed behind the scenes in courts every month.
Why do police officers have to block the road when they give tickets?
Think about it. If you had your back pockets stuck out in traffic, don't you think
you would want to create a little space for yourself? Officers are trained to offset
their car in relation to the violator's in order to create a safety gap to walk up
on the violator's car. Otherwise, they would be totally exposed to passing traffic
and run a greater risk of being struck.
Why do cops always ask, "Do you know why I stopped you?"
First rule to remember is that police officers are trained to remember and document
conversations they have with stopped motorists. They must be able to recall the details
of each stop later in court. Learn from them and do the same thing. Stop and write down
all the details leading up to you getting stopped. How fast were you really going, where
did you get stopped exactly. What was the weather and the road conditions. How much traffic
was there on the road and around you. When they ask you if you know why they stopped you,
they are waiting for you to make an omission of guilt so they can write it down. Don't do it.
I got passed on the road by a speeder and we drove right by a police officer in a
marked car. Why didn't the officer stop the speeder?
First of all, depending on the agency, not all police cars are equipped with radar
units. The problem is, you never know which ones do and which ones do not, so you
roll the dice if you speed past one. Secondly, the officer may have been busy doing
something such as paperwork, running a computer check on someone/thing, eating lunch,
etc. It is also possible that he/she may have, in fact, been running radar at the
time and was either looking away at other traffic or was unable to get a solid lock
on the car that passed you. Finally, it could also have been some 25 year veteran
that just couldn't care less by now. Who knows?