Traffic ticket “quotas” bill heads to Illinois House

A new law to keep police departments in Illinois from targeting drivers to make money for cash-strapped cities is set to be voted on in the House next week.

The bill would ban the use of “ticket quotas” for police departments around the state. It would also prohibit police officers from being evaluated on the number of citations they issue.

The bill was drafted by Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill. It passed the Senate in April 2014 by a 57-1 vote.

The only “no” vote came from Sen.Tim Bivins of the 45th District. The Republican is a former Lee County Sheriff, who argued the law would give certain officers permission to “slack off.”

Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd says his department does not have any kind of mandatory quota system for writing tickets.

Boyd says the department had almost 8,600 traffic stops last year with 3,165 citations issued.

“We have never had ticket quotas at the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department. We require our deputies to turn in statistics and we evaluate those stats. What we are looking for is police contacts,” said Sheriff Boyd.

The bill would also prohibit evaluating officers based on their traffic ticket statistics.

“To have a state senator or state rep telling you ‘you can’t do that’ in evaluating your people, and make it against the law, seems kind of far-fetched,” Boyd said.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police also expressed concern that the bill would cause Illinois to lose millions of dollars in federal highway traffic safety funding.

At least 17 other states have similar laws.

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