To the Editor:
As a former police officer and as a husband and father of four, I understand the importance of keeping our communities safe; both from a law enforcement perspective and as a citizen. My experience has also shown me the divide that exists in some communities. One such issue is that of police ticket quotas.
Trust is the basis of any relationship; public or private. Citizens must be able to trust law enforcement officers and agencies to put public safety first and foremost. Ticket quotas get in the way of that priority and are an unnecessary distraction to the dedicated men and women of our police force.
In response, I have signed on as chief co-sponsor of legislation in Springfield to ban the use of police ticket quotas. Senate Bill 3411 would prevent ticket quotas at any state, county and municipal police department. It also states that departments would not be allowed to evaluate an officer’s performance based on the number of citations they issue.
The bill passed in the Illinois Senate on April 10 in a 57-1 vote. It is currently in the House Labor & Commerce Committee for a hearing in the coming days.
This is a truly bipartisan effort. SB 3411 was introduced by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and is sponsored by my colleague Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, in the House.
We all share the common goal of healing the divide between police and the local citizens they serve; rebuilding trust and confidence in communities across the state that public safety is indeed the top priority of our law enforcement agencies.
As this debate moves forward, let’s take a moment to thank the hardworking men and women who serve our community as police officers. Whether it be at the local, county or state level – they put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us – and they deserve our respect.
John D. Anthony
State representative for the 75th District