Does a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? Or, more to the point,
if CHP officers are “encouraged” to increase their “enforcement
contacts,” is the system an illegal quota?
The current controversy arose during a police brutality lawsuit in Sacramento.
During his deposition, Officer Jay Brame claimed that his supervisors
told him he must pull over at least
100 motorists a month, adding that these evaluations went on for years and were commonplace
among patrol sections. One of these reports said an average of five contacts
per day was “not acceptable” and he “will need to pick
up your enforcement activity the second half of the month and use the
[motorcycle] for what it is intended to be used for.” A dismayed
U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb opined that “the CHP should
be ashamed of that document.”
Los Angeles County has paid roughly $10 million in recent years, to settle
quota and whistleblower lawsuits.
First, it’s important to understand that a settlement in a civil
matter is not necessarily an admission of guilt. It’s like
plea-bargaining in a traffic ticket case: if the prosecutor offers a good deal, a bird
in the hand is worth two in the bush, and it may be better to take the
favorable offer than to risk a trial.
VC 41602 is written very narrowly. It prohibits an “arrest quota,”
and in the context of the Vehicle Code in Mono County, that means writing
citations. If the number of “enforcement contacts” includes
verbal and written warnings, which it normally does, the system is not illegal.
Basically, the quota law exists because Inyo County motorists should be
pulled over because they violate the law, and not because the officer
needs to fill out a statistical sheet. When the officer asks, “Do
you know why I pulled you over?” you should suspect that the real
answer is “speeding” and not “so that your supervisor
Is happy with you.”
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.