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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ex-Cop Sues City, Says Quotas Led to Firing

Ex-Bronx cop Vanessa Hicks suing city, says quotas led to axing
The New York Daily News by Rocco Parascandola - May 2, 2011

Vanessa Hicks says she lost her job because she repeatedly failed to meet unrealistic quotas.
An ex-Bronx cop claims she got the boot because she couldn't stop and frisk enough people to please her bosses. Former Finest Vanessa Hicks says she lost her job because she repeatedly failed to meet unrealistic and illegal quotas, including ticketing drivers for moving violations while she was assigned to foot patrol. "It was a job I always wanted to do," said Hicks, 33, who joined the NYPD in 2002. "I wanted to do something to help my community, to make a difference. But I wasn't going to go out there and issue an 80-year-old a summons." Hicks has filed a notice of claim, putting the city on guard for a wrongful termination lawsuit. NYPD officials denied that the department demands officers meet arrest and summons quotas, and countered that Hicks was canned in February because of a history of insubordination. But Hicks' claims mirror those of cops who have come forward in the last two years to reveal the department's habit of illegally setting quotas and punishing cops who don't meet them. Hicks, who worked out of the 42nd Precinct stationhouse, claims her job morale tanked and quota demands on her skyrocketed after she clashed with a female sergeant while assigned to the 40th Precinct. She said that when she was transferred to the 42nd Precinct, she felt her bosses were targeting her for retribution by setting impractical quotas. Hicks charges that her superior at the 42nd, Sgt. Sean Wick, once demanded she dig his personal car out of the snow - an order scuttled when a sympathetic colleague intervened. The breaking point, she said, came when she confronted Wick in December, accusing him of following her while she was on patrol to "find some reason" to discipline her. She said she tried to complain to her precinct commander, Capt. Jon Bloch, but he refused to meet with her. She filed a complaint anyway, and was suspended the next day. Wick, Bloch and another 42nd Precinct sergeant are named in Hicks' notice. Bloch referred all questions about Hicks' allegations to the NYPD press office. Hicks' lawyer, Christopher Dunn, scoffed at the NYPD for blaming her dismissal on insubordination charges dating back to when she was posted at the 40th Precinct. "When this is over, it will be clear there is a highly organized system of quotas placing relentless pressure on officers to write summonses and make arrests in the 42nd Precinct," Dunn said.

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