Police Quotas: Crime Doesn’t Pay – Does it?

Chalk it up to watching too many Soprano’s episodes while healing up from a cold, but thoughts of good and bad are circling in my head like seagulls on a food-ridden beach. I’m not surprised that Tony Soprano would have problems with anxiety. It seems to me that this is just one of the prices that are paid for a life of bad behavior.

But it does seem to me that there may just be too many laws and regulations. You can’t put up a fence on your own yard without getting permits and permission from local government. You can’t open a business without paying local and government fees, even before you start making any money on it. Everything you try to do to better your life seems to have someone’s finger in it taking shares that make it harder for you to implement your personal projects.

I don’t believe in quotas at all, and yet they are a requirement for many good people out there. The truth is that many Policemen and women have to pull over a certain number of people every month in order to receive funding for their departments. What does this mean? It means that in some places, people may be overly harassed so that good men and women of the police force can keep their very necessary jobs.

I haven’t been pulled over in a long time thank goodness, but it happened 8 times in the early 90’s when I was 17. I got a ticket for turning right on red at 4:02, when the sign said it was ok to turn right on red between 2 and 4pm. (It may actually have been 4 on my clock when I was turning – I didn’t look at the clock until the police officer told me what I did – he said his clock said it 4:05 when I turned.) I got tickets for snow falling from the top of my car to my back window, even though I had brushed off the snow off the roof, I couldn’t reach all of it. I got pulled over for driving ‘too slow’ in a 25 mph area. If there was any tiny thing that I could have gotten a ticket for that year, it would happen. It was a small town, and the police habitually followed teenagers out of the high school parking lot. But they got their quota’s I assume, and the town made good money off of young people like me. I had already been working for two years by that time and a lot of my minimum wage pay went to pay these tickets. Interestingly, I never got points for these tickets – I just paid and paid and paid for small misdemeanors. This stopped after adults in the community got pulled over too often.

There’s something disturbing about required quotas, especially when they go up every year. Doesn’t the idea of a quota seem to mean that the police ‘have’ to find something wrong? And, the really interesting thing is that I’m sure they always can. It seems to me that if someone is looking for something wrong, they can always find it.

Law enforcement is necessary. I doubt that anyone would disagree with that. And Police men and women are usually really good people, who chose this job out of a desire to help make this world a better place. I think they should be allowed to do their jobs – not hustle to make money for government.

We all work hard for our money. It would be nice to know that our towns, cities, counties, states and federal government, were actually using our taxes only to pay for things that genuinely help us, instead of trying to make as many dimes of their own as possible. Sometimes I wonder how much different the government is from our cultural stories of the Mafia.