The officer claims the New Mexico State Police use a quota system
“In February you wrote only seven quotes while patrolling for ninety hours. You need to write more quotes while on patrol, ”Lieutenant Daniel Chavez emailed Officer Fetty on March 24th.
A month later, the same lieutenant sent the following email:
In March you worked in the district for 13 days and wrote four quotes. This is very small compared to other officials and you have to issue more traffic quotes. There are several problematic areas in Albuquerque that you can patrol to enforce traffic violations. Think of this email correspondence as oral advice. If your activity does not increase, advanced discipline will advise you.
“It doesn’t matter what else I did, it doesn’t matter how many people I talked to, none of that comes into play,” Officer Fetty said. “All they care about are quotes.”
The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) said they believe if an official feels his discretion is being compromised, it could legally be a problem for state police.
“New Mexico has a law that is 66-8-137 that actually provides an individualized defense for people who are quoted if they can prove that the officer or judge or anyone else involved in the process, his compensation is tied in some way to the incentive to release the quote or make the arrest, and that’s under the vehicle code, ”said Carter Harrison, a board member of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA).
But Chief Thornton said this doesn’t qualify.
“My officials have no unwritten quota. They have work expectations that are supposed to protect our communities,” he said in part in a statement to KOB 4. “We owe it to the citizens we serve to work hard.” Day, and part of it are uniformed officers who stop traffic, give out quotes if necessary, arrest criminals and get them off the streets. ”
KOB 4 has already forwarded the issue of quotas to the NMCDLA and the state police. A 2010 public record inquiry from KOB 4 found that New Mexico state police officers had received a patrol plan that included 100 citations and three DWI arrests per month for officers in at least two districts.
The then NMSP boss Faron Segotta denied that the requirement was a quota. He called them “minimum performance standards” and said that many government jobs require employees to adhere to certain standards.
Officer Fetty said over a decade later they are still having the same conversation.
“You can rephrase it whatever you want, but it’s still a quota. You still count, ”Officer Fetty said.
Officer Fetty told KOB 4 that he was being taken on administrative leave late last month and that he has still not been given a formal reason to do so.