Governor signs bill prohibiting police departments from setting quotas for traffic tickets

In the wake of the scandalous news that a Des Plaines Police Commander lied about DUI arrests in order to obtain federal grant money, and that Will County had a quota system, also to get federal money, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law prohibiting police departments from setting quotas for tickets.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“Law enforcement officers should have discretion on when and where to issue traffic citations and not be forced to ticket motorists to satisfy a quota system,” the governor said in a news release. “This new law will improve safety and working conditions for police officers and prevent motorists from facing unnecessary anxiety when they encounter a police vehicle.”

The law prevents police departments from assigning an officer a specific number of citations to issue in a given period of time and also stops agencies from comparing officers based on how many tickets they write.

The measure passed both chambers of the General Assembly with overwhelming majorities, earning approval in the House with 106 votes in favor and nine against. Only one senator voted against the measure, with 57 voting for its passage.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman sponsored the bill in the House and, in Quinn’s news release, touted the law as a way to better deploy officers and improve relations between police and the public.

“Arbitrary quotas on the number of tickets that have to be issued by police officers undermines the public trust in the police departments’ priorities,” said Hoffman, a Democrat from suburban St. Louis. “By eliminating these quotas, we can restore that trust and ensure that police officers are free to do their job protecting the public.”

Des Plaines Police Commander pleads guilty to falsifying DUI stats to get grant money

From the Chicago Tribune:

A former Des Plaines police commander accused of padding DUI arrest records to obtain federal grant money for the police department plead guilty to a lesser charge in federal court today.

Timothy Veit, 57, faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison after entering a guilty plea to a misdemeanor of violating Title 18 of the U.S. Code involving embezzlement and theft of public money.

The Mount Prospect resident initially was charged with one felony count of making false statements, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine…

From 2009 to 2012, Veit falsely inflated DUI arrest numbers by 122, and provided false blood-alcohol content levels for those arrests, according to the written plea agreement.

“(Veit) did so with the understanding that the true number of DUI arrests would not meet the performance objectives of the STEP enforcement campaigns and, if the number of arrests were not inflated, Des Plaines would not have qualified for STEP grants,” authorities said in the plea agreement.

His actions caused the northwest suburban police department to receive nearly $184,000 in Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program grants funded by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and administered by the state Department of Transportation, federal authorities said.

I’ve written about this before.  I am not convinced that this will be the end of the investigation.