2012-03-28 / Features

Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

Gianaris and Assemblymember Camara, the lower house sponsor, also explained that, “Nothing in state law specifically prohibits quotas. Rather, the current ‘Quota law’ prohibits penalizing a police officer for failing to meet quotas.”

Besides this, they said, “Under the current law, a quota is defined as a requirement that a specific number of arrests or stops be made or that a specific number of tickets or summonses be issued within a specified period of time.”

Camara stated: “The primary job of law enforcement is to protect public safety, not to fulfill quotas. Any performance evaluation that puts numbers before citizens is inherently flawed. This bill claims to close loopholes in the current evaluation system and increase the unwarranted violations that these illogical quotas impose.”

Gianaris and Camara said they believe that tickets, summonses, traffic citations and arrests should be utilized by a police officer when he or she feels that the circumstances are appropriate, rather than in order to satisfy arbitrary requirements. In a greater effort to altogether stop the use of quotas by the police, making a violation of the current “Quota Law” a class A misdemeanor would strengthen the penalties for supervisors who implement any kind of quota system.

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