DB 3210


The issue of police discretion is a complex topic. Individual discretion is often significantly influenced by police managerial edicts. Review the links provided on developing quotas for enforcement activities as these managerial policies and practices remove the discretionary powers from the line police officer. Discuss the pros and cons of quotas as they relate to removing line officer discretion in enforcing the law.

Reading and videos 


Law Enforcement in the 21st Century (4th ed.)
By Heath Grant and Karen Terry Chapter 5, “Policing Discretion and Behavior” Chapter 6, “Patrol and Traffic”

Supplemental Readings

Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment (1974) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – This landmark experiment found that traditional routine patrol in marked police cars does not appear to affect the level of crime. Nor does it affect the public’s feeling of security. The experiment demonstrated that urban police departments can successfully test patrol deployment strategies, and that they can manipulate patrol resources without jeopardizing public safety.

LAPD officers who complained about ticket quotas are awarded $2 million (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – The veteran motorcycle officers alleged in a lawsuit that they were punished with bogus performance reviews, threats of reassignment and other forms of harassment after objecting to demands from commanding officers that they write a certain number of tickets each day.