If we told you LAPD traffic cops had a quota system when handing out tickets, would you be surprised?
Us neither. Seems Chief Charlie Beck is.
After a jury awareded $2 million to a pair of traffic cops who say they were slapped by the department for failing to meet their ticket numbers, Beck said this week he would "make every effort" to appeal the ruling
Really Charlie? You want this one dragged through the mud some more -- with evidence that the department has told officers to write 'em up or else?
We'd let this one go, sort of like the cops who don't show up for court when they know they were simply being ticket robots and can't remember the details of a particular case.
"I don't agree with many jury verdicts and I don't agree with this one,'' Beck told reporters.
The case was brought by West Traffic Division hands Howard Chan, now retired, and David Benioff. They say they were held to an 18 ticket-a-day quota and that when they didn't meet it they were given less-than-cool duties and taken off their beloved motorcycles.
Agreeing with their side, the jury gave them the cash for emotional distress.
While not denying there was "productivity" pressure on cops, Beck says, "It is not a quota, but it is a method by which we obtain a result which I require, which is an increase in public safety, which the LAPD has delivered to you."
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Thanks, chief. We all feel safer knowing that you're guys are on the case of the late-yellow left-turn violator.
(As we've pleaded previously, we wish traffic cops would focus on flow impediments -- like people who don't use turn lanes, move into right-of-way traffic at the wrong time, drive way too damn slow -- instead of stupid infractions that do nothing to improve the level of congestion. Heck, often we see officers adding to congestion by pulling people over, during rush hour, and taking up a lane -- creating bottlenecks).
Anyway, rants aside, Gregory Smith, the plaintiffs' attorney, said more suits, from other officers, were en route.