Discussion: Analysis of the Police Quota System on their Willingness in Giving Out Tickets for Minor Infractions
The research that was conducted focused on the current quota system that is enforced in numerous police districts. The system functions by having police officers have a monthly quota when it comes to the number of tickets they issue for infractions (ex: speeding, vehicle obstruction, and jay walking) (McIntire, 2005). On the surface, the system appears to be a viable one since it encourages police officers to be more active when it comes to public nuisances or ensuring that drivers follow designated speed limits. However, one issue that this analysis has with such a system is that it would encourage officers to issue tickets for seemingly minor infractions or issue tickets without sufficient justification so that they reach their required quotas (Baker & Rivera, 2010).
To investigate the impact of this study on police behavior, a one-on-one interview was conducted involving several patroling police officers within the city. The researcher approached them and asked if they would be willing to participate in an entirely anonymous study regarding the current quota system that is in place and how it has impacted their perspective on relatively minor infractions.
Results of the Study
The results of the interview showed that police officers were willing to issue tickets even for apparent first-time offenders for relatively minor misdemeanors or infractions. Further analysis of the study results revealed that while the officers did not approve of the current system since they feel pressured by it, they still adapted their current approach due to the penalties they would receive if they did not meet their quotas.
The current quota system imposed by various police districts simply encourages police officers to be more aggressive when it comes to relatively minor misdemeanors or infractions. This approach does not endear them to local communities, and it is likely that there will be a breakdown in trust between police officers and regular civilians. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Impressions on the Study
Overall, I liked conducting the study and found it fascinating to do since I was able to learn new information and interact directly with members of the local police precinct.
Impact of Research on Public Policy
This report influences public policy by showcasing the potential negative consequences that implementing a ticket quota system would have in the current relationship between the police and civilians in the local community. Developing goodwill among members of the local populace is an essential trait for any police officer since this can translate into higher levels of cooperation. However, if police officers are seen as being aggressive and more willing to punish people for relatively light or negligible offenses, then this can seriously impact how the police are perceived.
The results of this research paper show that the current quota system should be removed since it contributes towards public animosity against the police rather than a positive public perception. An alternative means of measuring performance is needed; one that enables police officers to do their job in a way that allows them to positively interact with the people that they are supposed to be protecting.
The main limitation of the study design is in the population that was examined for this research paper. A proper study would have reviewed the opinions of police officers from different districts instead of just one. As such, the lack of sufficient research subject diversity calls into question the veracity of the answers that were provided. A future study utilizing the same premise would examine multiple officers from various districts so that the sample size is more varied and thus more viable regarding its potential accuracy.
Other researchers that would be interested in the topic should examine how policies differ between the West Coast and the East Coast when it comes to quota systems. The West Coast has a relatively lower adoption rate when compared to their East Coast counterparts and, as such, a study could be conducted to examine why this has occurred. Future studies can also take a look at whether the quota system has helped in lowering local crime rates or if they have remained the same.
1 Has your precinct implemented a quota system on tickets?
2 Do you think that the system is fair?
No, because sometimes we cannot make the necessary quotas
3 Have you changed how you look at crime because of the new system?
Yes, I have become more strict
4 Have you given more tickets?
Actually, yes I have since the new system was in place
5 Have your colleagues given more tickets as well
We all have since we need to keep our jobs
6 Are there penalties in place if you do not meet the quotas?
Yes, we lose points on our evaluations
7 Do you think the new system is better at stopping crime?
Not at all
8 How has the new system affected your relationship with local citizens?
People seem to dislike us more because we are stricter
9 How many tickets on average do you issue?
Around 5 to 6 a day
10 How many tickets do your colleagues issue?
Around the same amount, some issue 10 though
11 Is there current system fair to civilians
I honestly think it is not but we have no choice
12 Would you change the current system?
I definitely would; it has not helped us one bit
13 What changes would you like to see in place?
Much lower quota requirements
14 Would your colleagues agree to this change?
They hate the current system as well
15 Would your police department support this change?
Unlikely, they were the ones who put in the current quota system
Additional Questions I would like to ask
16 Has your job interacting with the general public become more difficult after the quota system was implemented?
17 Have the number of arrests increased?
18 Do you think becoming stricter will lower crime rates?
19 Is the general public in your area accepting of the current change?
20 Is the current quota system sustainable in the long run?
21 Is there are a connection between lower crime rates and higher rates of quotas being met?
22 Are tickets a good source of funding for your department?
23 Are there alternative sources of financing that you would recommend?
24 What do you think will be the long-term consequence of the current quota system?
25 What was the previous system for issuing tickets like?
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Baker, A. L., & Rivera, R. (2010, September 10). On Secret Tape, City Police Press A Tickets Quota. New York Times. p. 1.
McIntire, M. (2005, June 28). What Parking Ticket Quota? Police Prefer to Call It an ‘Expectation’. New York Times. p. B1.