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Police union publicly criticizes NYPD for traffic ticket agenda

This past Monday, you may have encountered a somewhat surprising advertisement in the New York Daily News from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association -- the city's police officers union -- criticizing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for the department's stance on traffic violations.

Specifically, the advertisement -- which shows an annoyed woman handing her drivers' license to a police officer with his ticket book open -- criticizes the department for coercing officers into meeting ticket quotas and then unfairly disciplining them if traffic violations are thrown out because of a technicality.

"Don't blame the cop ... New York City police officers are being subjected to undue pressure to write summonses to as many motorists as possible, and they are being subjected to undue pressure to convict as many motorists as possible," reads the ad. "With all these pressures, the cop loses, the public loses and the traffic court justice system loses. The only winner may be the city's treasury."

In the aftermath of the ticket fixing scandal that rocked New York City last year -- particularly the Bronx -- New York Police Department (NYPD) officials have been working overtime to uncover any potential improprieties on the part of police officers in issuing traffic violations.

Specifically, IA investigators have been showing up in increasing numbers to traffic court to gauge the testimony provided by officers concerning past traffic tickets.

According to the PBA, however, these efforts by the department have proven to be unwarranted, unnecessary and unduly punitive toward police officers simply trying to do their jobs.

"They are still sending Internal Affairs sergeants to harass our guys at traffic court," said Al O'Leary, a PBA spokesperson. "They are pressing our guys to write summonses, and hitting them with three days lost vacation, costing them $900, if they don't dot an i and cross a t. Our members are furious."

It should be interesting to see how this rare public protest by the PBA plays out.

Stay tuned for more from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you have been issued a traffic citation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Village Voice, "PBA: Blame NYPD for ticket quotas; cops unfairly targeted by Internal Affairs," Graham Rayman, May 7, 2012

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