Cop Sues NYPD Over Quotas, Slams The Racketeering Culture

Tyler Durden's picture

In New York City, police rarely talk on the record at all, especially about a touchy subject like quotas. But, as NPR reports, Officer Adhyl Polanco is an exception...

"The culture is, you're not working unless you are writing summonses or arresting people," says Polanco.

One of the dirty secrets in law enforcement that no one likes to talk about is quotas. Police departments routinely deny requiring officers to deliver a set number of tickets or arrests. But critics say that kind of numbers-based policing is real, and corrodes the community's relationship with the police.

Polanco joined the force in 2005, and pretty quickly, he says, it became clear that his supervisors only cared about two things: tickets and arrests.


"I can tell my supervisors that I took three people to the hospital and I saved their lives. That the child that I helped deliver is healthy," says Polanco. "I can tell them that. But that's not going to cut it."


Polanco says he encountered an unwritten rule that officers are expected to bring in "20 and one." That's 20 tickets and one arrest per month. But it was tough to get anyone outside the department to believe him, because NYPD officials would always deny there were any quotas. They still do.


"There is no specific target number that we go for," said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton at a press conference in January. "There are no quotas, if you will."


Since taking over the department last year, Bratton has insisted he's more interested in the quality of arrests than the quantity. The NYPD declined to comment for this story.

"If citizens believe that tickets are being issued or arrests are being made for reasons other than the goal of law enforcement, which is about public safety," says Robinson, "then their trust in the legitimacy of the system is really eroded."

So why does numbers-based policing seem to persist in some departments?

Maybe because it's an easy way to track officer productivity. Tim Dees, a retired Reno, Nev., police officer who has also taught criminal justice, says it's the quality of police work that counts, not the quantity.


"That's a much more difficult metric to gauge," says Dees. "The satisfaction of the citizen, very difficult to put a value on that. And it's much easier for, frankly, lazy administrators to make it into a numbers game."


But some rank-and-file officers say the numbers game can actually make their jobs harder. NYPD Officer Adhyl Polanco says that in order to be effective, he needs the trust of the community.


"Nobody in the community wants people selling drugs in their building," Polanco says. "Nobody in the community wants shootings, so if we work with the people who don't want that, together we can identify who the criminals are. But what happens when you start harassing innocent people because I have to come up with my 20 [tickets]?"


Those tickets might look like productivity on paper, says Polanco. But he argues they're not actually making anyone safer.

But as Daniel Drew of notes, In the NYPD, it's clear that the police are protecting and serving themselves at your expense...

To Protect And To Serve. But they never said they were protecting you.


The boys in blue are indistinguishable from the Crips or any other street gang in their extortion activities.


Officer Adhyl Polanco is suing the NYPD. He secretly recorded conversations in the Bronx. A sergeant said in the recording, "Next week, it could be 25 and 1. It could be 35 and 1. Until you decide you're going to quit this job and become a Pizza Hut delivery man, this is what you're going to be doing until then." 35 and 1 means 35 tickets and 1 arrest.


Polanco said, "Nobody in the community wants shootings, so if we work with the people who don't want that, together we can identify who the criminals are. But what happens when you start harassing innocent people because I have to come up with my 20?"


I wonder if there is a quota for running over citizens in your police cruiser? That quota was met yesterday.


To Protect And To Serve

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JuliaS's picture

Do ambulances drivers have quotas? Do they get to drive around the city running people over until the wagon fills up?

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

"quality policing is a difficult thing to measure"

uh, what is it about the Ferguson 'feedback' that is quite so unclear??

macholatte's picture



Video: Armed National Guard Troops Patrol Residential Streets in California Soldiers practice blocking traffic
Whoa Dammit's picture

 A cop figures out that he is just a municipal revenue generator, proving why they do not like to hire people with high IQs.

nailgunnin4you's picture

Obama and the democats will have him silenced shortly

Vullsain's picture

Along with the republicans. BTW I upvoted you. I just do not buy the narrative that there is any substantial difference between the scumbag left/right of the one party. Great to see a cop stand up like this for what is just and right.

erkme73's picture

There is no such thing as a "good cop".  Good cops either quit in protest, or have their careers destroyed trying to expose corruption.   Either way, they are no longer cops.   That's the problem with the entire law enforcement mentality.  It's the boys in blue against everyone else.  If they don't have each other, no one else will.  Thus, if you cross the line and "snitch" on questionable or illegal behavior, you'll be kicked out of the club faster than you can so boo.

Until they figure out how to get rid of the gang mentality that protects the most vile of cops, they are ALL bad.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

When a cop 'crosses over', he becomes a good cop.

rum_runner's picture

Right, yeah, good point.  If only we had another Bush in the oval office things would be stellar.

nmewn's picture

I think the unions all got together in general agreement that firefighters have some sort of patent on the idea of "creating work", thats not to say they can't run over a few to help out their "brothers" ;-)

zaphod's picture

Do they get to drive around the city running people over until the wagon fills up?"

Stop giving them ideas, they take these suggestions seriously.

kaiserhoff's picture

I was talking to an EMT last week.  I thought it odd that they sent six guys to take care of one diabetic who had the shakes in McDonald's.  He told me about half their calls are "bariatric", polite word for hopelessly fat.

One regular, weighs in at 545lbs.  With the stretcher each guy is dead-lifting a hundred pounds.  Your tax dollars in action, and mine.

centerline's picture

Not surprised.

On a similar note, friend of mine is a doctor.  Says the people who bitch the most are the ones getting shit for free.  The peolpe with insurance are the ones who don't complain.  Says about eveything I need to know about the state of affairs we are in.  He agrees.

junction's picture

That "productivity" standard did not apply to Jessica Tisch, who, when she was about 25, was put in charge of security for downtown Manhattan.  She and other BFFs of Mayor Bloomberg's daughter got hired by Police Commissioner Ray (My Son Greg Is Not A Rapist!) Kelly.  Her father is a billionaire, but Jessica apparently got a free ride from city taxpayers to go to Harvard's School of Government, staying on the city payroll while she went to school in Boston.  Naturally, the bird cage liner we call newspapers in NYC took a hands off attitude to this incompetent patronage hire.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

DO 'Fire Fighters' have quotas, too?

IF they don't have fires to put out and the whole department is gonna get canned; do they set the fires themselves or do they get someone else to do it for them?


Do District Attorneys and Judges have quotas?

How many people have to found guilty and sent to prison/fined/have their futures diminished to meet these secret goals of the beneficiaries of the increasingly for-profit/corporate prison industrial complex?

( Tough-on-crime! ) politicians, attorneys, judges, police officers, etc are NOT barred from owning debt or equity in private for-profit prisons.

One would think that allowing politicians, cops and judges, etc. to own interests in for-profit prisons might encourage them to cage their rental streams for long periods at excessive costs to the citizenry.

Did someone say something about Mandatory Sentencing guidlines and fat profits funnelled to pensions..

rum_runner's picture

Dude look at Ferguson.. something like HALF of the city's budget came from fines and citations.  Regardless of what you think of Michael Brown, it's hardly surprising the black community there is sick of the King's men riding around, shaking them down to fill the coffers.

Zymurguy's picture

And it's not just Ferguson, brah.  Look into nearly any municipality that size anywhere in the US and you'll see similar.

sleigher's picture

Start with the police department, then move on down to DC where the real racketeering culture lives.  The entire US Government Inc. is a racket.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Funny thing is that even cops are being replaced by machines.  Red light cameras, donut eating bitchezzz.

Jumbotron's picture

Fascism on Parade.

73 year old Grandpa "Fantasy Cop" who shot an unarmed man and apoligized while said man bled to death, was NOT properly trained in either his service revolver or TASER.  And the Tulsa police falsified the records showing he was.


kaiserhoff's picture

My money's on the kid.

That fat phuck will never catch her.

NoPension's picture

Lucky she's not in South Carolina. He would just stop, draw his weapon, roll his head like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, and blow her little disrespecting head off.
The Day will come. I hope I'm still around to participate.

JustObserving's picture

Every NYPD cop had a quota for stop-and-frisk too (that is how they averaged 1800 stops-and-frisks in NY City per day under fascist Bloomberg) but it was always officially denied.

In any case, here is how US cops compare to those in the UK:

UK cops killed 58 since 1900

US cops killed 111 in March 2015 alone.

kaiserhoff's picture

This is so weird.  The arrest thing is just plain wrong, but would it wear his ass out to write one parking ticket a day in a sewer like New Yawk?  He should be able to squeeze that in between a two hour lunch and doughnut break number 5.

JustObserving's picture

How many tickets?

Those were tickets to the nether world

nmewn's picture

Well, the article is about "legailized" theft & robbery under the cover of a badge, is it not?

Refuse-Resist's picture

How many revenue harvests? Err I mean checkpoints?


Around here, lots. Especially in the poorest areas of the county, where the blue heroes know that these poor people, who hvae to drive to survive, will drive regardless of them having required permits and documention.

They arrest 20+ people here EVERY FUCKING DAY here for these 'crimes'.





junction's picture

A retired NYPD Narcotics lieutenant, in a story on Courthouse News Service, indicated that the Marijuana Reform Act of 1977 made possession of an ounce of pot or less a violation of the law (not a crime) similar to a traffic ticket.   Almost all those pot arrests were illegal, as the cops, judges and prosecutors all knew.  The cops got "collars for dollars," increased overtime to process illegal arrest (good also for their pensions) and the judges and prosecutors got numbers, justification to keep their useless jobs.  Every law enforcement racist who okayed these arrests should be fired for perjury, filing false reports, since they signed off in writing on false arrests.  Once one lawyer gets a hefty settlement from New York City to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit (under section 1983), that will unleash a feeding class-action frenzy.

Refuse-Resist's picture

in NC, mary jane is 'decriminalized' so if a person gets caught with less than an ounce it's a misdemeanor. But, here's the kicker:  if said person has a pipe, bong, or a pack of rolling papers, it's considered a much worse crime.

So you can have your weed, but if dare posesse the means to smoke it (even a can fashioned as a pipe is paraphanelia) then you get fucked much worse.

Justice? FUCK YEAH!

Inflicked, show no mercy; motheruckin wicked.



Stumpy4516's picture

How many times did they stop and frisk the jewish.  How many times do they confiscate the money or diamonds from the jewish claiming is must be drug related?

Chicago has very strict gun laws also but there are reports the cops had an "enhanced interrogation" program for certain suspects for many years and got away with it. No one seems to be scheduled for investigation much less prosecution for this.

Bloomberg goes to Aspen and states guns should be taken from the minorities.  He then asks the local news not to release the tape or video and even the local community activist group (this one very liberal and all about equality)  then refused to release the video or talk about it.

What happens when/if a black/latin cop runs over a middle aged white person with his cop car, or shoots an unarmed white who has been taken down in the back then claims he meant to tazer him (Arizona and Calif).   No, it will not happen, there is not that kind of bond among the blacks or latins (or whites).

Refuse-Resist's picture

Does Bloomberg also include the 2% in his definition of 'minorities' or the blue heroes, also a minority?


Thought not.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

"I never fucked anybody over in my life that didn't have it coming to 'em. You got that?"

Shizzmoney's picture

Values in NYC: banksters do not go to jail, a black man choked to death by police, but a coyote is safely sedated by city officers

nmewn's picture

The state is broke! We need moar seatbelt tickets issued, a ban on texting and changing the radio dial in traffic and even moar conflicting signage put up to impede & disorient drivers! Kick that fucking wailing baby into the street and cite her ass for jay walking for crying out loud!

We're fighting for our damned jobs here!!!

BrosephStiglitz's picture

May as well just build a giant "Hamster Wheel" in Times Square to power a public-sector-only municipal grid and be done with it.  Why bother keeping up the charade at the 11th hour?

centerline's picture

You know it is coming.  Not just cops.  Firefighters, teachers,... you name it.  If it has a .GOV behind it, they are coming from every angle possible through every orifice possible.


The great "Public" fucking the "Private" sector (who has already been fucked) is right around the corner.  As opposed to the mild screwing that is occuring now.

Think you can out-vote this?  HA HA HA HA.  Good luck.  Ancient Rome, bitches.

Got a house (pay up).  Got a car (pay up).  Want to buy groceries (pay up).  You get the idea.

nmewn's picture

You know it.

I'm having fun with "school administrators" now, there's another group of sanctimonious TBTF blood sucking vampires churning out zombies.

centerline's picture

The sad thing is that good people suffer no matter what.  My wife and I are big supporters of the local schools.  We pay hundreds a year extra and volunteer hundreds of hours.  Seems every year it is not enough though.  The deficit gets bigger each year.  Most other parents are absent regardless of ability.  Pretty pathethic statement.  In my area, the wealthy ones (including moms who dont work - lots of those here... I live in a nice area) are many and they dont do shit.  At least the working parents have an excuse.  My wife and I are included in the "working lot."  Funny thing though... welfare queens are just as bad as wealthy assholes.  Funny how things come full circle in terms of narcissism, entitlement, neglect, etc.

nmewn's picture

Yeah I hear ya.

I'm careful to stick to the top heavy "administrative staff" side of it lest everyone think I'm for turning out dullards, which naturally I'm not and there are some good teachers in there, one of them posts here on ZH and she's one of the good ones.

But (theres always one of those its kinda tribal, in the sense they circle to protect their own, in normal circumstances understandable, not when the damage is to one of my own.

For instance, squire was in English honors and doing horribly. I asked him what the deal was and he said (naturally) the teacher sucks. Weighing his obvious teenage bias and rebel nature against the teacher in question demanding all notebooks be in thought it worth looking into.

She was old, trying to make it to retirement. No doubt deserving of all PAST accolades but not at the expense of my son and as it turned out...7/8 of the class getting C's & D's. This is honors, they're all bright kids.

So after repeated calls & emails to the guidance counselor & the teacher went unanswered from Mrs.N (who was on the verge of melting down and doing some serious damage) I decided the best thing to do was to go plant my happy-ass down in the front office and demand a meeting with the principal. After the whole "Do you have an appointment?" and "He's very busy, don't know if he can see you." and me being, the front office...I was escorted back to his eminences chambers and the guidance counselor was there. The teacher was not there.

After cordialities (and glares toward the guidance counselor from me) are exchanged I informed him that squire is moving out of that class. Then he goes into the whole "He should just work harder!" routine, to protect the teachers capabilities. I said no, pull up his grades, I said you see that...zeros...he's given up on her...I want him out right now or I take him out of this school, period.

I got a text from____ a half hour later, he was moved to another English class, that was lest year.

This year, he's back in English honors, straight A's.

We don't and shouldn't let the system (as it stands) abuse our families.

centerline's picture

Oh, school admins... they dont give a shit.  They just push kids down the same educational sausage grinder.  Period.  Nothing else.

Love the one my daugher has.  But, not afraid to put my foot up his ass either.  He knows the truth.  He knows I know the truth.  And we both exist.  Still a shame though.  Reality is that I am my kids guide and my job is to ram-rod the system to make it possible.  Ironic huh?

HTZMR's picture

I was ticketed just recently by a state trooper in New Baltimore, NY, for not switching to the left lane as he was parked on the side of the road ticketing some other poor bastard. He drove away as my girlfriend and i were making sense of a law neither of us ever heard of. Five minutes later we saw him on the side of the road ticketing someone else. I contested it in court - they reduced it to a parking violation but demanded 175 dollars. I was furious. Shameless revenue scheme and felt exactly like i was being robbed by the authorities.
But only a couple of months i was stopped for an illegal u-turn right before a toll bridge in NYC. I had a drink or two that night because i came from a wedding. I had to walk in a straight line and all that, no prob and i passed flying colors but i bet if the cop was a prick like that state trooper he could have ticketed me for a DUI or some other trumped up charge but bless him, he had mercy on me and let me go on with a warning.Thank you, officer, to this day, you didnt think about quotas. I havent forgotten.

nmewn's picture

Yeah, they started that shit down here in Fla too.

It used to be (as a common courtesy) for people on the side of the road with flat tires or cops or tow trucks, whatever, if you can, you would just move over to the other lane to give them some room.

Now its a "law"...supposedly if you can you must, it'll be your word against a government employee, in a government courtroom and we all know how that usually turns out.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Same In Arkansas.

I got nailed by an ASP Corporal last October under circumstances similar to the above - cop was harassing someone else for speeding, I passed by in the nearest lane, cop left his first victim to chase me down. He was abrasive and rude to me, interrupting me repeatedly as I tried to explain to him that it appeared to me the left lane was occupied by passing traffic. He acted as if he had just caught me knocking over the liquor store or something.

Went to court over it in February. The trooper played his dashcam video, which only showed my departure from the scene of his traffic stop. It did, however, show several other cars in the left lane, though the last one in line had passed me by the time my truck entered the frame of view.

On the witness stand, I described the corporal as "the archetypal bully with a badge." I looked right at him when I said it. This pissed off the DA royally. Pity, she was kinda hot.

The judge found me guilty. Said he thought I didn't reduce my speed enough. But looking that motherfucker in the eyes when I called him a bully with a badge was worth the $180.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Hope you sugared the pig's tank and checked the air in his tires.  Maybe even left some thermite on his hood. . .

Aussiekiwi's picture

And you got the cop of the street for awhile, so that's a community service too.

Refuse-Resist's picture

It's like that everywhere my friend.

What's interesting to me is when people get their AHA moment. IOW, they've spent their whole lives being peacable and trying to be law abiding. But then they have a traffic encounter with a blue hero.

You wouldn't believe the shit I hear from nice people being treated like goddamn criminals. And the funniest part is that the habitual offenders (we call them frequent fliers -- assault, meth, coke, B/E, larceny, DWI) keep being released.

Catch and release program for the real crminals, harassment, abuse and financial ruin for the good people.  Here, minimum cost for any ticket is $190 court cost, plus $50+ for fine. If you want an attorney (because in NC any ticket requires your appearance in court - no check mailing here) it's another $150 and the attorney can reduce the violation to keep it off your insurance.

Total cost for any violation: $400.