ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Governor Pat Quinn signs a new law to ban ticket quotas from being used by Illinois Police Departments.
Police officers in Illinois are responsible for keeping our roads and our communities safe, and handing out traffic tickers is a big part of their job. A new Illinois law will make sure they aren’t forced to hand out tickets to drivers or risk being disciplined or fired. Starting Sunday, there's a ban on quota systems for departments across Illinois. Police chiefs in the Stateline say that’s not something they make their officers do. Local departments place a stronger emphasis on officers making contact with neighbors in the community, whether that’s taking a report about a break-in, teaching kids about school safety or writing a speeding tickets. Some drivers say to them a quota system doesn’t seem fair to officers.
"I don't think anyone goes into law enforcement with the dream of writing a lot of tickets to people so I think that sort of lifted ban allows them to get back to what they went into the law for which is to protect and serve," says driver Bridget Monaghan.
“I think it should be up to the officer to enforce the law the best way he sees fit," says driver Larry Oliver.
State Representative John Cabello, a former police officer, .co-sponsored the law. He says this idea came after a mayor in Southern Illinois wanted to bring in extra money to city coffers by enforcing a quota.
"Police departments are not supposed to be revenue generating arms of the government. They are supposed to correct behavior and arrest people when they deem they should be arrested,” says State Rep. John Cabello (R-68th). “There's plenty of ways to tax people and this shouldn't be another way."
The new law also won’t let departments compare one officer's job performance to any other officer based solely on how many tickets each one writes.
“They can pay attention to a lot more of what/s going on than just speeders. Police have a lot of work to do,” says driver John Evenhouse.
Senator Tim Bivins (R-45th) was the only state senator to vote no when this bill was in the Senate. He worked for 20 years as the sheriff in Lee County. Bivins says he's concerned a small number of officers will use this law to not fulfill their duties and the measure could make it harder for managers to effectively run a department.