NYCLU: New NYPD ‘Enforcement Goals’ Seem Like Quotas

October 27, 2011 —  The New York Civil Liberties Union today expressed concern about a new operations order issued by NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly that appears to establish a formal quota system for arrests, summonses and street stops.

The order, issued on Oct. 17 and made public today by The Village Voice, requires setting “performance goals” for police officers that will measure “enforcement activity,” including making arrests, issuing summonses and conducting stop and frisk encounters.

“This sounds like management-speak for a quota system,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “Enforcement quotas threaten basic rights and undermine trust between police and residents, which is why the State Legislature passed legislation outlawing them last year. Commissioner Kelly must provide details on these new performance goals and explain how they are different than quotas.”

Press reports, including a series last year in The Village Voice, raised serious concerns that NYPD officers operate under an informal quota system regarding stop and frisk activity. In Aug. 2010, then-Gov. David Patterson signed legislation that expanded the state’s anti-quota statute to ban quotas for tickets, summonses, arrests and stop-and-frisk encounters.

NYPD officer have stopped, questioned and/or frisked totally innocent people more than 3 million times since 2004. In the first six months of 2011 alone, police stopped totally innocent New Yorkers 317,376 times.