LA City Council Approves Nearly $6M Settlement In LAPD Traffic Ticket Quota Case

The officers say their captain required them to write a minimum of 18 tickets per shift, and failing to meet the quota led to reprimands and harassment.
By @katierucke |
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    (Photo/Instant Vantage via Flickr)

    (Photo/Instant Vantage via Flickr)

     Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $5.9 million settlement as part of a lawsuit filed by 10 Los Angeles Police Department officers in 2010, who alleged they were forced to meet daily ticket quotas.

    The officers filed the lawsuit in June 2010, saying that they were mistreated for refusing to follow their supervisor’s commands, even though those orders violated California state law.

    According to the officers, who belonged to the LAPD’s motorcycle unit, their Captain Nancy Lauer, who ran the LAPD’s West Traffic Division, required each officer to write a minimum of 18 tickets per shift. Of those 18, 80 percent were to be for major violations.

    If the officers declined or failed to meet the quota, they said Lauer and other supervisors would give them bad performance reviews, reassignments, reprimand them, deny them overtime assignments, schedule them at undesirable hours of the day, and harass them. According to the lawsuit, Lauer also attempted to kick the officers out of the motorcycle unit.

    Approval of the almost $6 million payout comes after a jury ruled in favor of the officers in the lawsuit, and brings the total amount taxpayers have spent on this issue alone to more than $10 million.

    Along with the fact that the council voted 11-0 to pay the officers the settlement, details of the settlement are unknown, as the council discussed the issue, and even voted, behind closed doors.

    Although this was not the first or last time the LAPD will likely encounter a lawsuit in relation to traffic ticket quotas, lawyers for the LAPD continue to deny the allegations or any wrongdoing.

    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that a ticket-quota system was never put in place. Beck says the department will continue to monitor officers productivity, and stressed that quotas and measures of productivity are different.

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