Some Ohio Troopers Feel More Pressure To Write Tickets

Monday, March 30, 2009 5:27 PM

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COLUMBUS, Ohio A pilot program that is being tested in southern Ohio has left some Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers feeling pressured to write more citations. The Fair Share program was created by Lt. Mike Crispen for District 6, which is made up of 10 southern counties, including Ross and Athens counties.
Crispen told 10TV's Maureen Kocot that the program is not a quota system. It accounts for a trooper's every move in an eight-hour day and measures time and not tickets.
A trooper who writes 15 speeding tickets does not necessarily outshine a trooper who spent his day making felony drug arrests.
The union that represents Ohio's troopers calls the Fair Share program a "thinly veiled quota" and claimed that troopers are feeling the pressure to write more tickets.
According to the union, troopers who don't meet the bar could face the consequence of getting overlooked for promotions.
"They feel like there's a constant pressure that you have to issue citations," said Larry Phillips, the president of the Ohio State Troopers Association.
It appears that more tickets are the end result, Kocot reported.
According to a January e-mail that was written by Crispen, he noted that "as we started the Fair Share program, enforcement increased by 250 percent."
"I just don't think it's a fair system for Ohio's public," Phillips said.
Phillips is just as concerned about a different performance evaluation plan in District 2 in northern Ohio, which he claims awards troopers points for citations.
The union told 10TV News that troopers patrolling the Ohio Turnpike have strict instructions to make two traffic stops each hour.
10TV News obtained a copy of a grievance filed by a trooper who patrols the Ohio Turnpike who claims that supervisors are setting a quota on stops per hour to the point that it is a job requirement.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said that it has a strict "no quota" policy.
Crispen said that there is a difference.
"This now says I don't really care how many tickets you write - I just want you to work. You need to work," Crispen said.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol told 10TV that the Fair Share plan is on hold while the state reviews the program and decides whether to terminate or extend the performance evaluation policy.
Stay with 10TV News and for additional information.