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High Court Busts City for Cop Quotas

Judges at the Illinois Supreme Court sided with a police union, which challenged a policy that encouraged cops to write traffic tickets to improve their job performance. The Dupage County member panel agreed unanimously that the points system used in the downstate city of Sparta violates a prohibition in the state’s Municipal Code that expressly prohibits the practice of evaluating officers based on the number of citations they write. An appellate panel reversed a ruling in Randolph County that said the city’s methods didn’t violate the prohibition even as it awarded cops so-called ‘activity points’ for interactions with the public, including the issuance of traffic summons.


The Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee sued the city in 2018 over the policy, which awarded two activity points of each ticket and a single point for a traffic stop among the tasks its members were judged on performing. While it was possible to achieve the required monthly total without writing tickets, the union claimed the system violated a 2014 addendum to the Municipal Code approved by the state Legislature that banned such practices. The city elected to press the case following last year’s reversal in the 5th District, prompting the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs to join the suit.


The Chicagoland Law Firm defends clients who have been charged with traffic violations in courts throughout the state. We handle summons for moving violations, including for DUI and speeding. If you are charged with a traffic offense, contact us today for a free consultation about how we can help you win a reduction in charges or an outright dismissal.