Two Richardson Police officers have filed a lawsuit against the city of Richardson and police authorities, alleging an illegal quota system. The officers state that they have been required to issue a particular amount of tickets per month.
Officers Kayla Walker and David Conklin, who joined the department in 2011 and 2008, respectively, claimed that the Richardson Police Department used an alleged illegal quota system before they became officers of the department. Both officers suggest that they were repeatedly retaliated against and mistreated by superiors for non-compliance with the established procedures.
According to the lawsuit filed in Dallas District Court, there existed “an unwritten but well-known policy that constituted a ticket quota in violation of the Texas Transportation Code Section 772.002” during Former Chief Jimmy Spivey’s tenure. This required police officers “to be at or above the departmental or sector averages in their traffic ticket writing.”
The lawsuit shares that failure to meet the average number of tickets could lead to disciplinary actions, including poor evaluations that could result in negative working conditions and be used as “cause for termination.”
The officers also allege that the quota system went beyond traffic tickets and included suspect arrests as well. Officer Conklin stated that he went to a “mandatory arrest raid” with other officers in 2016 and was reprimanded for failing to arrest multiple suspects. However, as he claims, doing so would have been unconstitutional and unreasonable.
After these claims were made public, the Richardson Police Department conducted an internal investigation and determined that no such quota system existed. However, the officers’ lawsuit claims that the investigators only spoke to select officers and that “patrol officers who were interviewed by outside counsel” confirmed the existence of the alleged illegal quota system.
“The Richardson Police Department does not have a ticket quota, nor will a ticket quota be allowed by me or any other member of our organization,” said Richardson Police Chief Garry Tittle in a statement following the release of the investigation. “If words or actions state or imply otherwise, any employee should promptly notify our Internal Affairs supervisor or contact me directly.”
“Furthermore, as your Chief of Police, I will not tolerate retaliatory or punitive behavior against any employee involved in these allegations, nor against those who participated in this investigation,” Police Chief Tittle added.
Both officers are now asking that a Dallas District Court Judge order the Richardson Police Department to stop the policy, declare the ticket quota policy in violation of the Texas Transportation Code, and order the department to compensate Conklin and Walker for infringing on their rights to free speech.