Quotas in the context of traffic law enforcement are often a very slippery slope when it comes to being a discussion topic. Because despite the fact that traffic law enforcement quotas are illegal, chances are that if you were to sit down next to a random well-informed individual and asked him or her about their thoughts, they’d look at you with the “c’mon” look and acknowledge that quotas do indeed exist. Though most districts will often refer to them as “performance goals.” Almost anyone that has possessed the privileged to drive for quite some time or has even had the unlucky draw of being pulled over knows the pattern that speeders are most likely to get caught near the end of each month.
TheNYDailyNews and TheNewYorkPost report that a veteran New York City police officer, who was recently fired over for writing bogus tickets, is now fighting for his job back. However, according to former officer Paul Pizzuto, 41, in a statement with the Manhattan Supreme Court claimed that he was issuing bogus tickets, some of which were written to people who have been long deceased, to meet his upper staff’s “increased quota.”
Pizzuto, a 17-year veteran, said that on average, he wrote up to 125 tickets normally, but altogether, his superiors at the 120th precinct in Staten Island demanded 150.
“Specifically, [Pizzuto] was told that he needed to start issuing more summonses for red-light and seat-belt violations,” reported TheNewYorkPost’s account of Pizzuto’s court filing, “if he did not issue the increased number of summonses.”
In that same court filing, Pizzuto claimed that he “always issued summonses to motorists who deserved the summonses” and “did not want to issue summonses just to fulfill an increased quota.”
Pizzuto was caught in his scam in July of 2011. When he was apprehended, police said that his [Pizzuto’s] intensions were related to his “severe financial problems” and [Pizzuto] “had been doling out tickets as a way of padding his overtime,” said TheNewYorkPost in their story.
Pizzuto pleaded guilty this past May to falsifying business records on three counts and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service. Though he insists that his firing was unjust because he was denied a hearing.
In response to his claim, the NYPD reportedly said that they didn’t offer one because his actions violated an “oath of office,” in reference to “knowing or intentional conduct indicative of a lack of moral integrity.”
– By: Chris Chin
Source 2: TheNYDailyTimes