Rep. Neil Hansen floated legislation today to block police departments from requiring their officers to fill traffic ticket quotas.
After heated debate, the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice standing committee approved it 6-1, with only Rep. Paul Ray voting against it.
Hansen, an Ogden Democrat and sponsor of HB264, said the proposed law would prevent supervisors from mandating that their cops write a specified number of citations. It would also disconnect officer pay from the number of tickets wrtiten.
South Ogden Police Chief Val Shupe urged the committee not to advance the bill.
"We don't have quotas and never have," Shupe said. "We tell our officers to go out and write what they see." Shupe told lawmakers the bill would interfere with his doing his job of dealing with problem traffic spots by instructing officers to enforce the law.
Several law enforcement personnel joined Shupe in speaking against the bill, touting that no one requires quotas.
Former lawmaker David Ure spoke of how he unsuccessfully tried to pass similar legislation several years ago.
"Now the problem has creeped back in and we are where we are today if we have to have a quota
system," Ure said. "It undermines the principles of why we're here in America." Rep. Carl Wimmer, a former police officer, expressed disappointment over the tone of the arguments from the audience.
"Some people I have great respect for have not been forthright," Wimmer said. "I worked for a police department and had to write three tickets every day. That was a quota and they exist.." firstname.lastname@example.org