Traffic ticket quotas are real, one police officer says

And, he says, it’s illegal.

Watch out for those blue lights.
Watch out for those blue lights. –iStock photo

Police officers don’t have a quota of how many traffic tickets they should issue, right? They do in Abington, says one officer who is suing the department.

The myth among many drivers is that police have to issue so many tickets a month. As the thinking goes, if you’re pulled over on the 30th, expect to get a ticket and not a warning.

When asked, most police departments will tell you that such a system just doesn’t exist.

But in Abington, an officer says that he was punished after he refused to go along with a ticket system enacted by the police chief there. In a lawsuit filed May 1 in Plymouth Superior Court, Officer Tom Delaney says he’s a whistleblower who was retaliated against by the police chief, David Majenski, and other command staff.

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Delaney had been issuing one or two “money tickets,’’ or tickets that had a fine, a month, according to his suit.

That was all well and good he said, until a Brockton Enterprise article in November 2012 that reported that 73 percent of drivers stopped in Abington during the previous two years left with a warning, not a ticket.

That’s when the “money ticket’’ system went into place, Delaney says. Officers were told to issue more revenue-generating tickets. Delaney says in his suit that officers who didn’t operate under the system wouldn’t get overtime assignments and other perks.

Delaney said the system was illegal, citing a decision where Newton officers fought back against directives to issue more tickets than warnings.

Delaney has a hearing July 30 on the suit, which seeks $1 million in damages.

In the meantime, drivers should stay below the speed limit in Abington.