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The Florida Highway Patrol has come under fire for allegedly urging troopers to issue two speeding tickets per hour during an overtime enforcement campaign.
Memo: Troopers Should Issue Two Citations Per Hour
A July 28 internal email issued by FHP Major Mark Welch was recently obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. In the email, Welch urges troopers to issue two citations every hour in light of a recent pay increase. The email was issued to members of FHP’s SOAR program, which allows troopers to patrol high crash zones on a voluntary basis for extra pay.
Though Welch emphasizes “this is not a quota”, the backlash caused by the email has prompted Florida Senator Jeff Brandes to issue a reminder that such quotas are a violation of state law.
Quota Backlash Triggers Response From Senator, Highway Safety Chief
In response to the controversy, Terry Rhodes, executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, issued the following statement: “Let me be very clear: Quotas have no place within the Florida Highway Patrol.” The agency also points out that revenue generated by the citations goes to local governments and not to the Highway Patrol.
Rhodes continues, “It is more important than ever before that FHP be proactive in their efforts, but members should never be encouraged to meet specific citation numbers. I am directing you to ensure that no quotas are being issued from our troops and that no performance metrics are impacted by a quota.“