Traffic Ticket Quotas? Homer Simpson: “Do’h…”

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January 14, 2011

I want to write articles here about California State – but I get so many questions from clients asking about “quotas.

All I can say for sure – is that there are newspaper stories virtually EVERY WEEK from some town or community somewhere in the U.S. where the police agency is caught “red-handed” implementing a quota system. Enough said! I will try to broaden my stories in future Blog Posts – Quota Stories are just too easy.


Iowa: Police Chief Suspended Over Ticket Quota

Police chief in Pleasant Hill, Iowa is suspended over ticket quota allegations.

Chief HansenThe Pleasant Hill, Iowa city manager suspended the city’s police chief on April 26 after evidence surfaced that he had instituted an illegal traffic ticket quota. According to local police union leader Ron Zimmerman, 33, officers were being told to issue between five and ten tickets each month. A sergeant chided Officer Zimmerman on “the low number of tickets” that he issued.

Although Chief William Hansen, 58, denies the existence of a quota, a Des Moines Register review of court documents shows the amount of ticket revenue has more than doubled under Hansen’s watch.

In the year ending April 30, 2005, the city issued 1136 tickets worth $124,933. In the year ending April 30, 2007, that figure jumped to 2427 tickets worth $309,261. The number of citations issued in Pleasant Hill per capita is nearly double that of Des Moines, which generates $5.9 million from its ticketing program.

Hansen is receving his full salary while an outside investigator examines the case.

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