Phoenix PD denies use of quota system - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Phoenix PD denies use of quota system

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Quotas for law enforcement agencies are illegal in many states – but, not here in Arizona.

The Phoenix Police Department said it does not have a quota system in place and its union wants to make sure the department never will.

"I think what you're seeing now is the police chief's attempt to start the dialogue about ‘hey let's get a little more proactive in our philosophy as a police organization," said President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Joe Clure. "And, as I stated before - there's nothing wrong with that."

Clure said he supports proactive policing to increase productivity.

But, he's heard a lot of concern from the rank and file that, to them, it means they're going to be put on a quota system.

"I do not and would never support quotas that were unreasonable or put undue pressure on police officers to write citations or make arrests - just for number's sake," he said.

Several anonymous sources tell CBS 5 News top brass is already holding weekly meetings with precinct commanders - where the number of arrests, stops and contacts are compared and questioned.

A screen shot of a patrol car computer, obtained by CBS 5 News, shows the level of frustration at the officer level.

The officer in this case made a "subject stop" entry to show his activity.

In the remarks section, he sarcastically wrote, "The entry was made up for recap purposes to show I am working and have to have so many subject stops per month."

CBS 5 News asked Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson if officers are or will be told they need to write a certain number of citations or make a certain number of arrests each month.

"No. What we want to do is make sure they (officers) are comparable to each other," said Thompson.

Thompson said the department is simply reviewing performance measurements.

"Keep in mind, we're in the very initial parts of talking about those things," he said. "What are performance measures that meet the proactive direction we're going right now? No, we don't have any quotas. We want to continue to make sure our people are using their time wisely."

Clure said he doesn't believe the Phoenix Police Department will apply a department-wide numerical measure, because there are too many variables in law enforcement for it to work.

"You could be doing valid, good police work that isn't necessarily encapsulated into these areas - whether it's ticket or arrests or field contacts," he said.

On Friday night, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia released the following statement on the issue of quotas:

"The Phoenix Police Department has and will continue to evaluate the performance of our employees. This is essential to accomplishing community expectations and making Phoenix the safest major city. 

Recent discussions concerning performance measures may have led some to speculate that the Department has "quotas" that our officers are expected to meet.  Let me assure everyone that the Phoenix Police Department does not utilize quotas as a measure of police services.  Conversely, performance measures assist law enforcement leadership in determining when, where and how to deploy police officers.  Responding to 911 calls and investigating suspicious and criminal activities are the type efforts my officers are expected to be engaged in.  I have described these as Focus on FiveSM where persons, places and behaviors become the foundation of our patrol officers' daily action plans.

As the City continues to experience a reduction in the number of officers in the Phoenix Police Department, it is incumbent upon us to work as efficiently as we possibly can.  Since my arrival in Phoenix, it has been my philosophy to "work smarter" by moving this department from reactive policing to a proactive state-of-mind.  To this end it is imperative that supervisors and officers are deployed in "High Priority Offense Locations" and "High Priority Enforcement Locations" to maximize the efficiency of our resources to keep our community safe. 

Our goal is to focus on fighting crime and hunting the criminals who cause harm to our community.  We will continue to proactively direct our efforts towards persons committing crimes, places where crimes are committed and behaviors that lead to crime.  As we work towards that objective we will measure and evaluate our performance, to insure that we are providing the best service we can for the community."

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