VIRGINIA

Arlington County Police 'quotas' memo retracted

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Arlington's chief of police has rescinded a memo that laid out what many were calling a quota system for arrests and ticketing in the County.

(Photo: Brian Hopkins)

Police Chief Douglas Scott says he was only made aware of the document, which called for officers on the day shift in Arlington to meet certain numbers of people arrested, summoned and cited per month, on Monday.

The memo, titled "Proactivity Expectations 2012," said that officers should make three arrests, 28 traffic summons and 15 parking citations per month while on duty. It also said that failure to meet the criteria could result in disciplinary action.

“It was a mistake, the intent was to provide some guidelines, it was not an attempt to penalize some officers who failed to reach a random number,” Scott says. “The emphasis here is quality not volume we do expect officers to make arrest and write tickets, and do enforcement actions, but we don't want to put an arbitrary number on it.”

In the retraction, Scott said that the original memo did not intend to set quotas; rather, the numbers were issued to establish "reasonable performance measures" as guidelines for officers.

The Arlington police chief says the officers responsible for the memo are embarrassed by this, but will not face disciplinary action.

The damage to the department's reputation is already done for many residents.

“It seems like they could rescind the memo, but the underlying mentality is still there,” says Steve Cronk, an Arlington resident.

 

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