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Gary Police Impose Traffic Ticket Quota

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(Credit: CBS)

(Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 06/01/11 12:46 a.m.

GARY, Ind. (CBS/WBBM) – If you’re driving through Gary, Ind. you had really better watch how you drive.

Officers in the Gary Police Department Traffic Division are under orders to write more than one ticket an hour. CBS 2’s Pamela Jones has the story.

The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune reports Cmdr. Timothy Tatum wants at least 10 tickets a day written by each of his officers.

Officers on the street tell CBS 2 it’s pretty easy for them to write 10 tickets a day. But they say this requirement puts one more policy on top of all the others they face.

Since word of the policy got out, police administration has pulled back on the issue, saying the quota doesn’t exist.

“We do not have a quota system at the Gary Police Department”, said Gary Police Chief Sam Roberts.

But police say they are stepping up how they enforce traffic laws. Catching minor violations, they say, could stop major accidents or crimes down the road.

“It’s not just to write tickets. It may be a chance to engage the citizen and communicate with them about traffic safety issues”, said Roberts. “I think that’s good.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Neither the local Fraternal Order of Police nor the Lake County, Ind., prosecutor’s office is happy about the order.

Prosecutor Bernard Carter said a traffic ticket quota could result in a negative perception of the police, as well as lowered police morale and fewer convictions, the newspaper reported.

A defense attorney says the quota will make tickets easier to challenge in court.

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