Montreal police union denounces ticket quotas
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014 12:47PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 19, 2014 8:01PM EST
The union that represents Montreal's police officers is calling for an end to ticket quotas.
The Montreal Police Brotherhood said the quota system in place requires many police officers to issue upwards of 18 tickets a day, and the obligation to meet quotas can mean fewer police services to the public.
“It’s only to get more money, to bring more money to City Hall,” said Yves Francoeur, the president of the Police Brotherhood.
It's no secret that Montreal police officers on traffic patrol have ticket quotas, but Francoeur said the quotas are interfering with public safety.
"For the Montreal police bikers, it's 18 tickets a day," said Francoeur. "For the traffic squad it's 16 and depending on the staffing of a police station, it's between 450 and 1500 for a month."
Francoeur said that this is a problem for several reasons, one of which is that if a station is not going to hit its quota, commanders will frequently take officers on patrol and order them to do nothing but hand out tickets.
The union chief said this means that for several days each month, officers are told not to respond to any emergency calls unless someone's life is in danger, so calls regarding events such as thefts will be ignored. On those days, victims of car theft or burglary could wait hours for a police officer to respond, said Francoeur.
Francoeur said in addition to the negligence of public safety caused by ticket quotas, they are also used to evaluate police officers hoping for a promotion.
"We are not opposed to giving tickets, but for promotion or evaluation we need a regulation because the officers should not be evaluated only on how many tickets they give," said Francoeur.
The union wants Quebec to adopt the same policy in place in 22 American states and eliminate quotas.
“If we compare to the United States, you have 22 states out of 50 - close to 50 per cent - where they have special regulation to prohibit quotas,” said Francoeur.
A letter on the matter has been sent to Public Security Minister Lise Theriault. The minister would say only that she has received the letter but hasn't read it.
The union says the quota system is also used to evaluate each officer’s performance and when that officer is being considered for promotion. They say they want the practice stopped.
“We are not opposed to giving tickets, but for promotion or evaluation what we say is we need a regulation,” said Francoeur.
The Montreal police department refused to speak to CTV Montreal about the issue of ticket quotas, saying only that police officers working in the traffic division are expected to hand out tickets and enforce the Highway Safety Code.
The police brotherhood has a history of bringing up quotas prior to and during contract negotiations.
Currently municipal unions across Quebec are outraged over provincial legislation that would require workers to contribute half of the cost of their pension plan.