Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas

Published On July 25, 2013 | By CopBlock | Articles, Videos

This post was originally published by Tracy Oppenheimer at Reason.com on July 24th.

Police officers are not there to protect and serve you. Look, individuals who attempt to prevent any unreasonable arrests are fired! -Kate

Auburn, Alabama is home to sprawling plains, Auburn University, and a troubling police force. After the arrival of a new police chief in 2010, the department entered an era of ticket quotas and worse.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” says former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners, who claims he and other cops were given directives to hassle, ticket, or arrest specific numbers of residents per shift. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners blew the whistle on the department’s tactics and was eventually fired for refusing to comply and keep quiet. He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made. The Auburn police department declined requests to be interviewed for this story.

“There are not that many speeders, there are not that many people running red lights to get those numbers, so what [the police] do is they lower their standards,” says Hanners. That led to the department encouraging officers to arrest people that Hanners “didn’t feel like had broken the law.”

Former Reason staffer Radley Balko, now an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, says that this isn’t just a nuisance, it infringes on public safety.

“You have a policy that encourages police to create petty crimes and ignore serious crimes, and that’s clearly the opposite of what we want our police to be doing,” says Balko.

Hanners repeatedly voiced his concerns through his chain of command, and the department responded that these requirements are necessary for increasing productivity.

Yet Hanners firmly believes that the quotas are entirely revenue driven.

“I had no intention of dropping it,” says Hanners, “This is a problem in more places than Auburn, and I think once the people know that they can hold their public officials accountable, it’ll change.”

The police chief singled out by Hanners retired this July, citing medical reasons.

About 7 minutes.

Written and produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Alex Manning.

Music by The Jowe Head Band, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

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  • Jason Free 123

    More fucking bullshit. The story is by an activist run website. There is a lot more going on then what these dumbshits are saying. Just fucking bullshit.

  • steve

    A good cop forced out.

  • Casual Observer

    Revenue enhancement via intentional violations of due process have become standard operating procedure in many jurisdictions such as NYC. The real problem is that prosecutors and judges often support these tactics, rather then upholding their sworn duty to uphold and defend the inalienable rights of the people by reigning in rogue police officers.

  • Casual Observer

    *than

  • Jason Frees Dad

    @Jason Free 123

    Now son.. i thought i told you to shut the fuck up and pull your pants down. Bend over and ill show you were the bullshit is you are always complaining about.

    Don’t make me get the belt and whoop your ass again boy!!

    And FYI we all know you love this website. You come here everyday, first thing in the morning, like a giddy little school boy ready for daddy… that,s good, I like that :). Give daddy more!

    PS.. they have medication that can help you with your mental issues.

  • Unjustified

    Maybe we will have another Christopher Dorner. They will deny what he is saying and target him to be killed.

  • Jason Free 123

    The story is complete bullshit. You have someone who is pissed off for being fired. He will say anything to get sympathy. He’s just a fucking loser like the activists on this board. The story is being reported from an activist run website. No one will ever know the whole story. THose fuckign activists will see to that.

  • YankeeFan

    Blah, blah blah says the troll!!!

  • THE AUTHORITY

    JASON FREE 123 ARE YOU AN AMERICAN CITIZEN? ARE YOU AN AMERICAN RESIDENT? WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

  • http://Copblock.org Centurion

    @Jason Free stay on topic , stop trolling people or your I.P. will be banned no warnings……

  • akkard

    Refreshing to see an honest cop, who knows how the job is supposed to be done.

    Where I live, the Sheriff’s department was sued because their deputies would park outside of bars and arrest people for public intoxication as they came out. They stopped this practice, finally, after public condemnation.

  • Dr Kranknstein

    Damn shame…He sounds like one of the good ones. Sorry you lost your Mr. Hanners, You sir are an Oathkeeper. Thank you for your service and protection.

  • Jason Free 123

    Centurian – Who the fuck are you? I write what I see and you fucking threaten to ban me? Give me a fucking break. Look at who responded and what they fucking said to me.

    Yancunt fan – Go fuck yourself. At least I can read the story for what it is. Just pure bullshit.

  • http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/citizens-behind-officer-justin-hanners/x/3943753 flag flagit
  • jacob185

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/26/online-community-comes-to-whistle-blower

    The city of Auburn has actually gotten caught in a couple of more lies since all of this press. The lies were in the official response from Auburn. The article recaps the story and has the new info.

  • jacob185

    @free U mad bro?

  • YankeeFan

    Jason,

    Well said. I love being told to go fuck myself. That means I win. Also, you can’t read you piece of shit troll. You can hardly type a sentence without showing us you have the I.Q. of a clogged toilet bowl full of shit.

  • t

    This site has started to suck.

  • ExposerOfCriminals

    Every cop knows that he must cover up the crimes of his brother officers or face the consequences (death or termination.) The cop featured in this video is lucky that he encountered the latter. Philadelphia cop Tom Bray was not so lucky. He died in a mysterious “accident” the day after he testified against another cop, Sergeant Shawn Dougherty. Google Tom’s name for pertinent videos.

  • ExposerOfCriminals

    According to sub-literate weirdo Jason Free, all criminal cops are innocent yet all of their law-abiding victims and critics are criminals by default. I am unsure about why this website, which purports to be against police misconduct, would allow an attention-seeking mental defective like Jason Free to perpetually post preposterously invalid and non-evidenced babble which unconditionally defends cops proven to be felons. Note that the profoundly demented and unintelligent Jason Free is so insecure that he must always have the last (sub literate) word, a symptom of his psychopathy.

  • ThinkAboutIt

    Jason Free is a cop.

  • muffins99

    no he is a mental case but we are helping him work thru it, just another public service of cop block