Kudos to the folks at Reason for exposing something that has become a trend in law enforcement – and not a good one.
Namely, police forces run by greedheads who impose arrest and ticket quotas on their officers in an effort to make money for the local government.
In Auburn, Alabama, there was a perfect example of this…
It’s not restricted to Auburn, though. This goes on everywhere.
I had an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputy give me a long sermon not long ago about how the federal government and the money-grubbing politicians have destroyed law enforcement with the emphasis on the money those tickets and fines bring in. And how a lot of the “tough on crime” stuff was nothing but a front for using cops to make money.
Some of what he said was probably overblown, but what stuck with me was this complaint: he said he got into law enforcement because he wanted to help people and be a peace officer, and that gets completely lost when your job is to write tickets all day and the public all know it. And the distrust that engenders, when people see cops driving around and look at those cruisers as land sharks which make their wallets and driving records bleed rather than a force for good, just destroys the satisfaction of the job.
This doesn’t even take into account this new phenomenon wherein police departments are being militarized and cops are busy shooting dogs and so forth.
Yes, cops need to do something about crime. But you need the cooperation of the public in order to solve crimes. That cooperation isn’t going to come from anybody – black, white, red, green or blue – if all folks see cops doing is giving tickets and hauling people to jail for the smallest offenses.
It would be nice to see this activity drop off and cops be in a position to act as peace officers rather than ticket-writers in the future. That’s going to require the elimination of police chiefs like the one in Auburn.