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Posts Tagged ‘alabama state troopers’

Alabama Impaired Driving Quotas?

Years ago, I worked in a specialized area of law enforcement that sometimes required us to make arrests and charge people.  During that time, my own political and philosophical views changed and I became frustrated and annoyed at the growing emphasis on "enforcement" and charging people, away from an emphasis on solving problems through crisis intervention techniques and de-escalating situations with the goal of resolving problems without charges or arrests. Eventually, we had "benchmarks" for certain things that we were expected to attain or "come close to" when we were evaluated.  They didn't call it a "quota," rather a "benchmark."  Somehow, a "benchmark" is different than a quota. Actually, there is a minor difference I suppose in that a benchmark meant that you didn't actually have to meet a minimum quota - one could argue that due to other circumstances, meeting the actual "benchmark" number was not attainable - and depending on who was doing the evaluation, the fact the "benchmark" was not reached was then excused. Personally, I objected to this sort of thing strenuously. I also realize that my own case likely has nothing to do with any benchmarks or quotas imposed, but as far as news and DUI enforcement, it is notable that apparently the State of Alabama police have imposed quotas on their officers in regard to DUI charges.  Lawrence Taylor at his DUI Blog provides this:
"The number of tickets for DUI written by state police from the Birmingham post doubled in March after a memo from the acting post commander threatened to punish any trooper who did not make at least three DUI arrests by the end of that month. Trooper officials defended the memo from now-retired Sgt. Steve Bryant and obtained by The Birmingham News. The memo said each trooper should make at least three DUI arrests by the end of March, and that those who failed to do so could lose their day-shift assignments or opportunities for overtime pay…"
According to the article,
"The Birmingham post made 50 arrests in both January and February, but in March the number jumped to 97, according to data provided by the state troopers. In April there were 91 DUI arrests and 117 in May."