NBC 10 has a collection of memos personally written and signed by Ron Schleuter, who has publicly denied rumors about ticket quotas for years. In those memos, Schleuter spells out a stern message for his officers: write tickets, or else.
On a busy Saturday
night, every hot rod, truck, and ride is out on the busy streets of
We all know it’s a police officer’s job to write tickets and enforce the road rules, but what was Chief Schleuter’s rule to his own patrol officers when it came to writing tickets?
It’s spelled out in a memo he wrote in 2006, that’s remained the policy of Monroe Police ever since he resigned this year:
Schleuter’s memo “requires officers to perform a minimum of two duties per hour, which includes traffic enforcement, conducting investigations (dispatched and self-initiated) and public service duties.”
The reason? “There are some officers who appear to be responding only to their dispatched duties and have very few self-initiated activities during their regular course of duties.”
So what does that mean? “Example: If you are assigned 10 dispatched activities, you should have approximately 10 self-initiated activities during the time you are on duty,” according to the memo.
“At one time, Schleuter told them one ticket per hour,” said the current acting chief, Herbert Otwell.
But Otwell’s careful not to say that Monroe Police had a ticket quota: “We didn’t have a ticket quota.”
And Schleuter didn’t call it a ticket quota, either. Instead, he called it an “Efficiency and Productivity Standard.” But there were serious consequences to officers who didn’t follow the rules.
“Failure to meet this standard shall result in loss of working off-duty privileges, suspension without pay, and possible termination if an employee consistently fails to meet the minimum standards,” according to Schleuter’s memo.
“I think the main thrust was to get the officer to do something on his own. To get him motivated to do more than ride around in a police car for ten hours,” said Otwell, when asked to explain the justification of the memo.
Chief Otwell says the order frustrated a considerable number of rank and file patrol officers, who felt the pressure to write tickets.
“Some were. A lot of them were. We got a lot of complaints,” said Otwell.
The policy may have sparked
complaints, but it did send
Before the ticket writing memo was in effect, Monroe Police wrote about 11,000 tickets in 2005. But once Schleuter’s policy became the rule officers followed, that number jumped to over 21,000 tickets in 2006.
In 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal
signed a law that banned
Did Schleuter violate a state law
with his memos, since they continued as
Chief Otwell says no, since Schleuter’s memo requires for traffic enforcement, which covers a realm of traffic laws that are more than ticket writing.
NBC 10 is covering Schleuter’s
policies in a four-part series, which airs from Monday-Thursday. We’ll show you
more of Schleuter’s ticket memos, and tell you whether officers got in trouble
for violating his memo. There’s also another secret memo Schleuter wouldn’t
want you to see, about “unwanted black males” at a