Arlington police chief denies ticket, arrest quotas

Adam Tuss,

ARLINGTON – A police chief in Northern Virginia responded to claims Tuesday that his officers are being told to meet pre-defined monthly quotas for issuing traffic tickets and making arrests.

“There is no month-to-month, or day-to-day numeric quota system for our officers,” Arlington County Police Chief Douglas Scott told reporters outside police headquarters in Courthouse.

A memo sent to Arlington County police officers earlier this month appears to outline a quota system for traffic tickets, arrests and parking citations. The memo was first reported by WUSA 9.

Though the memo says “there is not, nor has there ever been a quota for traffic enforcement,” it goes on to list “monthly proactivity expectations,” complete with a set number of traffic summons and a maximum percentage of warnings.

Chief Scott says he has since rescinded the memo and issued a new memo to officers.

“I do believe that the public realizes that it is reasonable for us to have performance expectations for our officers. However, citing specific squad averages, benchmarks or targets leads to confusion about quotas,” said Scott.

The officers who sent the original memo at the beginning of the month are “embarrassed,” he says, and that they want to clear up any confusion and move forward. They will not be disciplined, Scott says.

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