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Washington Lawmakers Propose To Cuff Police Ticket Quotas

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File photo. Legislation in the Washington House would forbid police agencies from rating officers by how many traffic tickets they hand out.

Police agencies in Washington state would not be allowed to rate officers by how many traffic tickets they hand out under a proposal put forward by a former Spokane police officer.

Republican State Representative Jeff Holy presented the "no quotas" idea to a legislative committee Monday.

"When you have expectations, work product or quotas if you will, you compel an outcome. You remove the officer's discretion,” Holy said. “So there are issues as to the integrity of a law enforcement officer to act within his conscience and what he sees as a justifiable outcome to a situation here."

Holy's legislation is written broadly to forbid the number of citations issued from being considered in any performance review or for promotion or assignments.

His proposal drew support from several associations of police officers, but opposition from management. The Washington State Patrol and a lobbyist for sheriffs and police chiefs said officers ought to be evaluated on all of the things they do, including how many tickets they write.

As of today, the state House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee has not scheduled a vote on the "no quotas" bill. California is one of several states -- including New York, Illinois and Florida -- that currently have laws forbidding arrest or ticket quotas.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.