San Bernardino County law enforcement agencies are under some additional unwanted scrutiny as a Victorville officer testified that he was transferred after the complained about an illegal quota system.
Deputy Brian Moler, and two others, filed a retaliation lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office. He and one other deputy say there were wrongfully transferred, and a third former deputy said things got so bad that he resigned. The three claim that supervisors told officers they must write at least 200 citations a month and that they must extend preferential treatment to elected officials with budget authority. Deputy Moler testified that he received consistently high performance reviews for three consecutive years, but after the complained about the ticket quota and different treatment, his next performance review was inexplicably poor and he lost his position as a motorcycle officer.
“The department tells you to do what’s right. I did that. And I was punished for it,” he claimed.
Almost everyone who works for a living, whether they write traffic tickets or represent defendants in traffic court, works under some form of informal quota system. If Paul and I do not obtain positive results for enough clients, people will stop hiring us. Likewise, if Officer Smith writes 150 citations in a month and Officer Jones writes 75, Officer Jones is probably not going to get the promotion, assuming that all other things are equal.
Performance expectations are legal, but ticket quotas are illegal under VC 41602. If there was a ticket quota in place at the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Office, the citations that the deputies wrote are probably invalid. However, as a practical matter, most supervisors are very adept at working around the law. For example, instead of mandating a “ticket quota,” they will “encourage” officers to conduct a certain number of “enforcement contacts.”
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A new lawsuit sheds light on an alleged ticket quota in San Bernardino County. If you got caught in this illegal speed trap, call Bigger & Harman today.