COLUMBUS – State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Westlake) today announced bipartisan legislation to prohibit ticket and arrest quotas. Jointly sponsored by Rep. Kevin Miller (R-Newark), a former State Highway Patrol Officer of 20 years, House Bill (HB) 333 defines a quota as a mandate of a certain number of arrests made or citations issued for any offense that a local or state police officer must meet in a specified time period. It also clarifies what is not considered a quota, such as community contacts or analyzing data on arrests or citations.
“Requiring officers to meet arbitrary quotas distracts from the primary objective of law enforcement, which must always be to preserve public safety. Quotas not only add unnecessary pressure to an already difficult job, but they also harm police-community relations,” said Rep. Sweeney. “Banning this practice will shore-up the public trust in law enforcement that is so essential for civil society, and it will ensure that officers have the professional discretion to make arrests or write tickets in the interest of public safety.”
Legislation banning quotas has been enacted in 25 other states, including Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
“As a retired state trooper, my goal was always to keep motorists safe and change unwanted behavior,” said Rep. Miller. “Sometimes this was accomplished with a citation, while many times a friendly warning would suffice. Our law enforcement officers need discretion versus an arbitrary quota system used to generate local revenue.”
HB 333 is also supported by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBA) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
“The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association commends Representatives K. Miller and Sweeney for working to prohibit ticket and arrest quotas and avoid unnecessary conflict between law enforcement and the people we proudly serve. When agencies arbitrarily dictate a certain number of arrests or citations that an officer must issue to keep their job, the trust between the public and law enforcement, as well as the very nature of constitutional policing, is needlessly tested,” said George Sakellakis, OPBA Director of Organization. “Ohioans must be assured that any citation or arrest is valid, legitimate, and necessary. Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and troopers are true professionals who risk their lives to serve our communities, not revenue generators. They got into this business to protect our neighborhoods, not occupy them. We are thankful that the legislature is tackling this important issue and urge them to pass this bill and end the practice of quotas in Ohio.”
HB 333 now awaits referral to a House Committee for further consideration.