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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cops On Tape Pushing Arrest Quotas

NYPD Lt. Janice Williams captured on tape pushing for more busts, but brass says there's no quotas
The New York Daily News by Rocco Parascandola - March 3, 2011

An NYPD transit lieutenant was captured on tape telling cops to make more arrests to meet a captain's order and do more work if they want overtime assignments. "All they care about is ... summonses and arrests and 250s," Lt. Janice Williams said, using police jargon for the NYPD Stop, Question and Frisk reports. "The bottom line is everybody's individual activity is being looked at." Later in the recording - made during a roll call several months ago at Transit District 34 in Coney Island - she said only officers with "good productivity" will get the opportunity to work overtime. She also said Capt. James Sheerin wanted every cop to make at least one arrest per month - up from the previous order of one every three months - because crime had spiked and arrest totals were lower than other transit districts. "He wants everyone to get in the mindset that there's no more collar a quarter," Williams said. The News obtained the tape from Jon Norinsberg, the lawyer for whistleblower Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who has publicly accused the NYPD of fudging crime stats and forcing cops to meet illegal quotas. Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman, called Williams "a crime fighter who was appropriately instructing officers at roll call to do the same." Police have said they use productivity goals - not quotas. "The NYPD can use code words such as "productivity" and "activity" all they want, but when officers are told that they have to hit certain numbers every month - or face the consequences - that's a quota. Period," Norinsberg said. "When a captain tells police officers that they have to arrest someone every month, that's a quota, no matter what the NYPD says." Schoolcraft is suing the city and the NYPD for $50 million. He has accused police of forcing him into a hospital mental ward because he exposed corruption. His allegations were first reported by the Daily News. Through, Norinsberg has been collecting stories and evidence to use in Schoolcraft's pending civil trial.

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