I just read a Salt Lake Tribune article (see here) about HB264 (see here) that would ban quotas for traffic citations. If you've read my previous post, you may think that this is a perfect example of the state legislature meddling in local affairs. This is different, however, because the state already limits the power that local police chiefs have.
Why all the fuss over the "Prohibition of Citation Quotas?" I believe the biggest reason for the fuss is that cities don't want to lose out on the ability to increase their funding through quotas. Anyone who has been on a City Council will tell you that fines and forfeitures is a part of the General Fund budget. Is it a big portion? Not relative to sales tax, however, it is a portion that would have to be made up elsewhere if it declined drastically. I saw this happen on a couple of occasions when I was on the Woods Cross City Council. We would see in our budget reports that fines and forfeitures were not keeping up with previous years. Invariably our Budget Officer would point this out and make a comment similar to "I've talked with the Chief about this." So what is a police chief to do when this happens? I suspect he puts pressure on the officers to write more tickets. How does he put pressure on the officers? That is a good question, but, I would guess that it involves a quota in some fashion. Do official quotas exist in all Utah cities? I'd bet not. Do un-official quotas exist in most Utah cities? I'll bet they do.