Pennsylvania State Troopers receive monetary bounty for writing additional traffic tickets and are punished for speaking out against the system.
Pennsylvania State Police documents show that not only is there a system of monetary reward and punishment for state troopers based upon numeric ticket goals, there is a clear effort to prevent anyone from ever speaking about it. The first rule of a ticket quota is: there is no ticket quota.
The primary reason for the denial is a 1981 Pennsylvania law banning the practice of “directly or indirectly” suggesting that an individual police officer should issue “a certain number of traffic citations.”
In 2002, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uncovered the creative methods that top police officials developed to avoid the letter of the law. The specific number of tickets that troopers must now meet is known as the “station average.” Each trooper must log the number of traffic stops and citations and if a trooper for any reason issues fewer tickets than his colleagues — the station average — he will be disciplined.
Our investigation shows that the practice continues and that those who issue more than the station average number of traffic tickets are given a fifty percent salary bonus in the form of construction overtime.
“If the station average is five tickets and you write ten, you’re getting overtime,” a trooper who requested anonymity explained to TheNewspaper.com. “The effect is to increase the average.”
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