Cop Fired For Speaking Out Against Ticket, Arrest Quotas

A cop has been fired for speaking out against his department’s arrest and ticket quotas.

Former Auburn, Alabama, police officer Justin Hanners shared a recording with Reason.TV of his one-time police chief — “Dawson” was the only name given in the video (see below) — requiring that officers make 100 contacts each month.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” said Hanners, who said he and his fellow officers were directed to “hassle, ticket, or arrest” around 60 percent of the contacts. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners spoke out against the practice from the very beginning and was eventually terminated for refusing to comply with a gag order, he said. The ticket and arrest quotas add up to roughly 72,000 contacts a year in a town of only 50,000 people, a practice, Hanners warned, that would mostly target lower income households.

Auburn police refused to comply with interview requests for the initial story.

“There are not that many speeders, there are not that many people running red lights to get those numbers, so what [the police] do is they lower their standards,” Hanners said, adding that he was encouraged to arrest people that he “didn’t feel like had broken the law.”

Police watchdog Radley Balko of Huffington Post, in comments to Reason.com, said the policy encouraged “police to create petty crimes and ignore serious crimes, and that’s clearly the opposite of what we want our police to be doing.”

Hanners had yet to find employment at the time of this report, but said he was seeking representation to file a lawsuit against the Auburn Police Department.

Here’s more of the story on the cop fired in Auburn:

On a related note, what is it with some government entities’ need to lash out over anyone questioning their stupid or not-criminal-only-because-it’s-the-government tactics?

We’re referring, in part, to a memo issued earlier this month that threatened to fire any Department of Homeland Security employee, who even read news stories about the NSA PRISM program exposed by former NSA employee Edward Snowden.

Wouldn’t it be easier just to do the job you’re hired to do instead of turning said job into one that goes well beyond your legal limits of power?

I don’t know, IQ readers, am I missing something here? What’s your take on the cop fired in Auburn?

[Image via ShutterStock]