ST. PAUL, Minn – Senator Dan Schoen (DFL- Cottage Grove) will introduce legislation on Thursday, Jan. 26 to prohibit the use of certain traffic stop-related information, such as the number of traffic stops made or traffic enforcement activity, in law enforcement officer job performance evaluations. This legislation expands the current prohibited use of traffic citations quotas in police officer job performance evaluations.
“Our front-line police officers take the brunt of policy decisions made at State Capitols and local governments every day,” said Senator Schoen. “Years ago, decisions were made to use revenue created from citations to help offset funds lost in times of economic downturns. Criticism of my profession has been highlighted around our country and good police officers are paying the price while trying to enforce laws written by legislators and local government officials. Citations generate revenue for local governments, and this has caused some dissent toward officers attempting to build relationships in their communities. Quotas are strictly prohibited in state law, but far too many communities rely heavily on the number of traffic stops and citations officers issue in their performance evaluations, creating a belief quotas still exist.”
“We should not stop enforcing traffic laws, which truly do help save lives,” Sen. Schoen said. “The job of law enforcement is far more than how many traffic stops she/he makes or how many tickets are written. Society expects more of us, and police officers I serve with work hard to create good relationships in the communities they serve. A police officer’s duty is to serve and protect, not fundraise.”