EVANSVILLE - The Evansville Police Merit Commission met Monday to reschedule a disciplinary hearing for a former police union leader who claims the Evansville Police Department has a "quota" system, an accusation department leaders deny.
The commission set EPD Sgt. D.J. Thompson's next hearing for March 13 at 4 p.m., during which he is appealing his suspension for alleged neglect of duty and insubordination. Thompson, who is set to retire Jan. 31, said he is facing disciplinary action for failing to enforce a "quota" on arrests, tickets and warnings.
In an interview, EPD Chief Billy Bolin denied the policy referenced by Thompson amounts to a quota and instead characterized it as a standard officer-performance evaluation. Bolin did not know what would happen if Thompson's suspension was overturned after he officially retires.
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According to an internal department email reviewed by the Courier & Press, the policy requires patrol officers to perform one "enforcement action" each week outside of actions they are directed to perform by 911 dispatchers.
The email defines an "enforcement action" as making an arrest, issuing a ticket or citation and issuing written warnings.
Thompson and others characterize that policy as a quota, because it requires officers to perform four enforcement actions each month. Bolin told the Courier & Press he draws a distinction between the EPD's policy and traditional police quotas due to the inclusion of written warnings in the performance metric.
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"My understanding of a quota is like saying you have to write 'X' amount of tickets, or you're trying to create money for your department," Bolin said. "That's not what we're doing at all."
Thompson disagrees. He said Monday he wants to the public to know about the "quota."
"Part of this is just to make it easier on the patrol officers who are out there," Thompson concluded.
The EPD lieutenant who penned the email describing the policy said at that time, 13 east sector officers had failed to meet the performance requirement of one enforcement action per week.
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This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: EPD Sgt. DJ Thompson hearing date set officer who disciplined over quota