Texas Police Officers Suing Department Over Quota System for Tickets
It's something that people joke about when they get pulled over. 'You're probably just trying to make your quota.' Looks like one police department was using a quota system, which is illegal.
Yesterday in Nacogdoches, Texas four troopers filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety. The troopers lawsuit states their sergeant started a quota system for traffic stops and arrests when he arrived in 2017. If you made your quota, you would get certain bonuses. They say Sergeant Robert Shugart "offered monetary and other prizes to the troopers that had the most arrests and traffic stops in a period.”
If you did not make your quota for the period, were “subjected to ridicule and harassment,” the suit says. In Texas it is illegal to have a quota system and these four troopers said they attempted to report it to the higher ups. After they did that, they faced ridicule from their Sergeant.
“Among other acts of retaliation, the troopers were transferred to other duty stations away from their families, denied promotion opportunities, violently berated in front of others, denied vacation and forced to work dangerously long hours, all in violation of the policy,” according to the suit.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has three weeks from yesterday (May 26) to file a formal response to the lawsuit. The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel reports that in April 2019, Shelby County District Attorney Stephen Shires asked the Texas Attorney General to investigate Shugart. An internal investigation was completed May 6 by DPS officials and found that Shugart “displayed a pattern of hostile, discourteous and unprofessional behavior” and violated department rules and regulations.
We will wait and see what the formal response from the Texas Department of Public Safety is in a few weeks.