Some troopers concerned about Highway Patrol's ‘quota' policy
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is using a formula to evaluate troopers based in part on the number of tickets they write and number of arrests made, records show.
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Records show Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are being judged on a formula that takes into account arrests, tickets written and contacts with the public. Troopers working in more than 20 divisions statewide are evaluated quarterly based on statistics driven by troop averages. Here are examples of some of the evaluation formulas from northeastern Oklahoma:
Contacts resulting in ticket
Seat belt enforcement
Contact per hour traffic patrol
One policy sets goals for northeastern Oklahoma's Troop L of about four tickets for every 10 traffic stops and 30 arrests per year for alcohol offenses. Some troopers say the new policy takes away their discretion to issue a warning rather than a ticket and are unhappy about the policies.
“I think it's detrimental to the way that the public sees me,” said one trooper.
The Tulsa World agreed not to publish the trooper's name, as well as the names of several other sources interviewed for this story. Troopers said they were concerned they could jeopardize their jobs if they spoke out publicly about the new policies.
Capt. George Brown, a spokesman for the patrol, said the policies are goals for 2013 that will be incorporated into troopers' “performance monitoring programs” as part of a quarterly review process. The goals — based on troop average data in different areas of the state — promote and ensure public safety, he said.
See the Tulsa World's complete story at www.tulsaworld.com