Patrol officers Brian Larimore, Deborak Weir, and Todd VanHovein, were tired of being forced to collect a minimum amount of revenue each month or face disciplinary consequences. They claim the department is abusing its power and have filed a 27-page lawsuit detailing these allegations.
The lawsuit states that each officer had to write at least one traffic ticket each day. They also had to write four ordinance violation tickets per month, and make one DUI arrest every other month.
More than just traffic citations, the lawsuit details the requirements to make at least two criminal arrests per month. That means that these officers were forced to create criminals out of otherwise innocent people, or face disciplinary action.
The lawsuit goes on to say that day-shift patrol officers have no concrete requirements when it comes to criminal arrests or DUI arrests. Those day-shift officers are allegedly told to have a minimum number of traffic arrest and ordinance violation arrests.
According to WMBD, Larimore, Weir and VanHoveln all cited separate incidents where they were disciplined for failing to meet the required number of arrests. The claims date back to 2010.
Deborah Weir said she was even suspended for day without pay for falling short of her alleged quota.
The group of officers are claiming that these requirements encourage them to make arrests without probable cause. By refusing to make the arrest and therefore being disciplined, the lawsuit claims Normal Police Department is in violation of Section 20 of the Illinois Whistleblower Act.
While city officials haven’t made a comment in response to the lawsuit yet, WMBD did contact Chief Rick Bleichner who denied there being a quota system in place but did say that they have “expectations” for their employees.
This incident is hardly isolated. In June of this year, another Twin Cities cop, former Bloomington Police Officer Brent VanHoveln was charged with three counts of forgery and one count of official misconduct for writing fake tickets.
He claimed it was to meet the department’s quota.