TX Department of Public Safety...


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JohnKSa
May 2, 2003, 08:18 PM
Making the highways safe for Texans--But only near the end of the month!

I wish they wouldn't be so blatantly obvious about their ticket quotas. I drive about 50 miles a day on I-30, and I can go the whole month and see one or two. Then right around the end/first of the month, I see several every day.

And, no, I didn't get a ticket, or even stopped, just ticked off... If they were really about safety instead of ticket revenues, you'd see them every day.

Anybody coming to the GSSF shoot tomorrow in Carrollton?

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Sylvilagus Aquaticus
May 3, 2003, 12:34 AM
I've noticed that too. I travel I-20 from DFW to around Longview on weekends and it's always mined with DPS units around the end of the month, especially around Canton, home of First Monday Trade Days, aka the worlds largest and oldest continuous garage/junk/trash sale. I can always count on seeing a DPS unit on the east side of Canton 50% of the time when I come through there, and usually when I see one, there'll be two west of there between Canton and Terrell.

I'm going to the gun show in Mesquite tomorrow...I figure it's time for me to be serendipitous again. Then, I'll probably go shooting, maybe at the Garland public range.

Regards,
Rabbit.

We always tend to think of historical tragedy as failing to get what we want, but if we study history we find that the worst tragedies have occurred when people got what they wanted... and it turned out to be the wrong objective. - Henry Kissenger, The Washington Quarterly. January 1978.

Art Eatman
May 3, 2003, 10:24 AM
You're worryin' about it all backwards. Look at it this way: Except for a few days a month, you're gettin' a free ride.

From what I've seen of those particular highways, though, I'm halfway happy to run pretty close to the speed limit, anyway. Not for my own speed, but for being ready to dodge some doofus with a cell phone, or the turkey-lipped idiot who's not paying attention to anything much beyond his hood ornament.

I've always said folks from Austin go to Fredericksburg or Kerrvile on weekends to practice driving stoopid.

Art

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
May 3, 2003, 12:20 PM
Oh, I'm not concerned with getting a ticket- I don't have anything that'll exceed the speed limit enough to draw any notice. I'm mostly dodging the ones who are talking on their cell phones while slaloming through traffic at 85 or so when they see the DPS on the side of the road and stuff the brakes. That is, IF they see the car on the side of the road.

Regards,
Rabbit.

RTFM
May 3, 2003, 03:03 PM
HA! I know EXACTLEY what you mean JohnKSa.
When I lived in Carrollton, at the end of the month, I would ALLWAYS see the same motercycle cop, with his laser between the bridges in the center median, at the 161 / 183 interchange in Irving.

Where do you shoot in Carrollton?
I allways went to the DFW Gun Range and Training Center. Mockingbird LN near Stemmons.
Man do I miss Dallas...More then Idaho even.

CatsDieNow
May 3, 2003, 03:55 PM
I got one yesterday in Arlington from a female cop. Darn near impossible to flirt your way out of those.

rebbryan
May 3, 2003, 08:43 PM
i don't know about texas, but an officer told me quotas were illegal, i dunno if it's just his dept or state or what

JohnKSa
May 3, 2003, 08:43 PM
The annual Dallas area GSSF match is held at the Dallas Pistol Club. It's north of 635 on Beltline Road just west of Beltline & Luna. The turnoff isn't marked--you have to know it's there.

Actually, today was the first time I've shot there. It's a pretty nice club.

About flirting your way out of tickets. A good friend of mine in college had a cute blond girlfriend. She finally got a ticket the 28th time she was stopped...I can't remember but maybe it was a female cop.

About ticket quotas. Maybe they call them something else, but I can't imagine what else would motivate every DPS trooper in the state to write a bunch of tickets right at the end of each month and then go into hibernation for the rest of the time. I'm open to other explanations...

dinosaur
May 3, 2003, 08:50 PM
I believe it`s called a "goal" now.

LawDog
May 3, 2003, 09:35 PM
Texas Transportation Code, Section 720.002.

Prohibition on Traffic-Offense Quotas

(a) A political subdivision or an agency of this state may not establish or maintain, formally or informally, a plan to evaluate, promote, compensate, or discipline:

(1) a peace officer according to the officer's issuance of a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations; or

(2) a justice of the peace or a judge of a county court, statutory county court, municipal court, or municipal court of record according to the amount of money the justice or judge collects from persons convicted of a traffic offense.

(b) A political subdivision or an agency of this state may not require or suggest to a peace officer, a justice of the peace, or a judge of a county court, statutory county court, municipal court, or municipal court of record:

(1) that the peace officer is required or expected to issue a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations within a specified period; or

(2) that the justice or judge is required or expected to collect a predetermined amount of money from persons convicted of a traffic offense within a specified period.

(c) Subsection (a) does not prohibit a municipality from considering the source and amount of money collected from a municipal court or a municipal court of record when evaluating the performance of a judge employed by the municipality.

(d) This section does not prohibit a municipality from obtaining budgetary information from a municipal court or a municipal court of record, including an estimate of the amount of money the court anticipates will be collected in a budget year.

(e) A violation of this section by an elected official is misconduct and a ground for removal from office. A violation of this section by a person who is not an elected official is a ground for removal from the person's position.

(f) In this section:

(1) "Conviction" means the rendition of an order by a court imposing a punishment of incarceration or a fine.

(2) "Traffic offense" means an offense under:

(A) Chapter 521; or

(B) Subtitle C.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, ยง 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Highlighting is mine.

LawDog

JohnKSa
May 4, 2003, 01:05 AM
LawDog,

I hear you and I've heard the same thing from others. Clearly, though, I'm not the only one to observe this phenomenon. Quite obviously, something is motivating DPS to dramatically increase ticketing activity near the end of the month. I've been driving that stretch of road daily for a lot of years (close to a decade now) and there's no question about WHAT'S happening--and in my mind, very little question about WHY either.

As I mentioned in my previous post I'm open to another explanation...

In the meantime, someone with a little time on their hands and a video camera could, within the space of a month, come up with some evidence that would pose some questions that should make someone high up in the DPS very uncomfortable. Leading up to the first, those last few days of each month, it's not unusual to see DAILY as many state troopers as you have seen in the entire preceding month.

Double Naught Spy
May 4, 2003, 01:20 AM
The supposd phenonenon about ticketing at the end of the month is probably about as valid as the white van in the DC sniper case. Plus, it becomes a self-fulfilling prediction undoubtedly based on long standing precconceptions and folklore based in the past when quotas were allowed.

Along similar folklore preconceptions is that hospitals are busier with more emergency room cases than on nights where the moon is not full. Since people believe the lore, including many doctors, then they see that pattern, but don't feel a need to verify it as it matched their preconceptions. In short, they have a sampling error and try to get more out of the observational data than are substantiated by the data.

blooch
May 4, 2003, 12:45 PM
just because you don't see them, don't mean they are not there.


in central texas there is one county that has 24 troopers that work in it. they have two stations in the same county. usually 6 are on duty at any given time. lately they seem to have changed there hours some and tend to work more into the night, way into the night. just come on down I-35 to temple and speed... you'll find out theres lots of them out any day of the month.

on quotas.. yeah they are illegal. do they happen in the dps? don't know. do they happen in other agencies? i know of one that i am absolutely positive they happen in, my brother in law works in it...he's one the prize for exceeding the quota the most months in a single year....a color tv.

JohnKSa
May 4, 2003, 01:05 PM
Double Naught Spy (great name, BTW),

I drive the same stretch of road at the same times of day 5 days a week.

I always speed--usually 10 or 15 over depending on the speed limit.

I seriously doubt that I'm passing many troopers without seeing them...

But, I'll tell you what--I'll start (tomorrow) keeping records for the number of sightings each day over a period of a couple of months and will post the results here.

NapAttack
May 4, 2003, 08:35 PM
I see exactly the same phenomenon here in metro Atlanta. Not so much in the general metro area but particularly in Dekalb County.

No one disputes that there are no quotas. I don't know if quotas are illegal here in Ga. However, the officers are "encouraged" to write speeding citatioins.

Particularly in May and June you will see considerably more cars pulled over and police cars with radar. The fiscal year ends July 1st I believe.

Double Naught Spy, call it folklore and preconception if you like, I sincerely wish you were correct. However, when you hear a traffic cop buddy worrying over the fact that he didn't make his "quota" that month then it kind of places a different spin on things.

Dan Morris
May 4, 2003, 11:16 PM
Unless the THP has changed dramatically in the last 30 years...when I expatraited from there, a Red Patcher can be the best friend you ever had.If a situation existed, they handeled it....mano-mano....wish it was the same here! Integrity was not a question and I do not believe in the quota system. Then. they had a mean nothing "Warning Ticket"...ment nothing other than you got cought. but at the officers descrition, he chose not to cost you
money and court time.I got far more warning papers than tickets.
Hey, I've paid fines there....I still will not accept the fact the cop
has a quota or is pickin on ME!When I get cought, it is because I SCREWD UP and GOT COUGHT.
You dance n you pay the band!
Just my .02 cents worth.
Dan

JohnKSa
May 4, 2003, 11:37 PM
DPS is very professional. They won't stop you unless they can make the charges stick, and they don't give out many warnings. The warnings they do give out generally mean that they used speeding as a pretext to stop you and on closer examination (and after running your license) decided you weren't a problem & let you go. They also write the tickets for 5mph under the speed they noted as a matter of course to avoid court problems later.

As I pointed out, I didn't start this thread because I got a ticket--haven't had one in quite awhile--but because it irks me that they are so blatant about wrapping up their "end of the month business". Whatever you want to call that "business", it results in a dramatically increased DPS presence on the TX roadways and (to all appearances) a lot more tickets written in a few days than throughout the rest of the month.

BTW, I think that the DPS guys are well trained, professional, and don't seem to suffer from the power trip syndrome I see with a lot of cops (especially in smaller towns) and sheriff depts. I wouldn't have a problem calling one of them for help and would consider myself lucky if a call for help netted a trooper instead of a local cop. As a matter of fact, I have a close friend who retired from DPS.

BB93YJ
May 4, 2003, 11:47 PM
I think you see more visible activity because they're checking expired inspection stickers then. I was on I-30 in Mt. Pleasant and noticed them stopping several cars while I filled up my Jeep. Asked the girl in the Stop and Rob what was up with the Troopers. She said they'd told her they were nailing people on the inspection stickers and registration stickers being out of date.
They must have some good eyesight to see which little hole is punched out of the silly things. Still, they're the top dogs as far as professional law enforcement agencies in Texas go in my book, other than the Rangers...

Dan Morris
May 5, 2003, 12:41 AM
BB, most rangers were were promoted from TH.\P..at least the ole days....Bob Favor, Ben Neil...Benie saved my life while a THP Trooper!Ranger Martinez came from Austin PD.....Clint Murcheson...THP.....In the immortal words of Bill Jiordan.......
They'd all do to ride the river with!....If you are right, they would help ya....if you were wrong, they;d bust you! Just my thoughts on a misspent life n the true heroros whut made a difference...

They didn't have to care...l...they jut DO.
Dan

Nestor
May 5, 2003, 02:12 PM
Personally given the new color scheme on some of the vehicles, black with black decals with NO top lights I have come to think of them not as L.E.O's (Law Enforcement Officers) but as R.E.O's (Revenue Enhancement Officers)

Art Eatman
May 5, 2003, 04:07 PM
It still bugs me to see "State Trooper" on the back of the car, instead of the old-days "Highway Patrol". I'm of that generation that just doesn't react well to "Trooper". Too reminiscent of "Storm Trooper" of the WW II era.

I understand the idea that you don't call a Lady Bear a "Patrolman". Doesn't mean I gotta like the change...

:), Art

TechBrute
May 5, 2003, 08:11 PM
Ok, quotas are illegal, but...

Dear Mr DPS Ossifer,
If you are writing tickets, you are doing your job. We will check on the first of each month to make sure you did your job last month. No quota, but if you aren't writing tickets, you weren't doing your job. If you wait all month to do your job, and then do it at the end, that's up to you.

Sincerely,
El Jeffe

bigshark14
May 5, 2003, 09:27 PM
I got a pretty good sized ticket on I-30 in Hooks, TX from the DPS man.

Got another one 20 months later on Hwy 21 near Caldwell, TX from another DPS man

These were two of my three lifetime speeding tickets. I still have to say that both cops seemed to be very professional/capable/competent and I think that they were both reasonable and good guys. I know that I am speeding so I just take the ticket and forget about whining.

I knew a TDPS officer who was assigned to the capital guard in Austin who basically told me over a few beers one night that if you didn't come up with a certain number of tickets that they started asking questions about what you had been doing with your time...

pax
May 6, 2003, 01:11 AM
Gun related?

Uh uh.

Closed.

pax

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