To Protect and Prey

Like most Americans, I have a lot of respect for police officers. They are, after all, the people who protect us from the bad guys. Keep drunks off the road. Deal with the worst of our nation’s citizens.

At least, that was what I believed for most of my life. But in recent years, my view of law enforcement officers and their tools have undergone a radical change. Call me silly, but it seems to me that rather than protecting us, police officers have merely become a tool of politicians in their quest to extort more money from citizens. Forget the corruption in the US Department of Justice. Forget the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation killed innocent people at Ruby Ridge and Waco in support of ideology. I’m talking about your home-town police force and their quotas for ticketing.

To Protect and Serve has become To Prey and Raise Revenue.

Some law enforcement officers deny that the quotas exist, but they are not being honest. Virtually every Middlesex village and town has the quotas, and they are an important part of the hidden tax system in America. Many police departments could not exist without the income they raise through bogus traffic stops and tickets. You don’t see it confirmed very often, unless an officer is put on the witness stand and sworn to tell the truth, but quotas exist.

Have you seen the dramatic increase in DUI offenses? It’s not because more people are driving drunk, but because your police have been instructed to pull over a certain number of drivers each day and check them for alcohol. It is part of a program funded by the federal government. They don’t actually have to have a reason to pull you over – they can just set up a roadblock and check everyone who drives by.

They have other quotas as well, for speeding. To check your inspection stickers. For whatever.

For exactly what the Founding Fathers feared when they wrote the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

I don’t know of any police officers who are happy about this. The police unions have fought against it, without winning. Because it changes the fundamental relationship between citizens and their protectors. It changes the relationship from one of respect to one of fear and loathing.

The truth is that your only interactions with a police officer in your entire life, if you are not a criminal, is with an officer filling his ticket quota. What reason would you have to respect that person? In truth, judges are increasingly aware of this – if you take the time and effort to go to court and fight the ticket, there is a good chance the ticket will be thrown out.

This is not the only scam that unscrupulous politicians use to take more of your money. Wherever you see a camera mounted at a stoplight, you can bet that the yellow light cycle has been shortened to enhance the revenue of the town involved. Speed limits are changed without notice, with signs hidden from sight, to force people to pay more in speeding fines. Some towns are so notorious for their abuse that they are designated “speed traps.”

But I fear for our country when police officers are given quotas for tickets. It is the reason why such quotas are forbidden by law in many countries. If you fear and hate police officers, you have no reason to cooperate with them. If the laws are unjust, you will not respect the laws.

Want to know if your town or city cops have quotas? Just ask them, as I do. And watch their eyes. Chances are good that when you ask the question, they will look away before answering.

That’s a sign they are lying to you.

And that is sad, because those officers did not ask for the quotas. Ask any cop, and they will tell you they joined the force To Protect and Serve. It is a shame we won’t let them do that job.

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