RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Richardson Police Department officers have filed a lawsuit against the City of Richardson and police officials, claiming they have been illegally requiring officers to issue a certain number of tickets per month.
Officers Kayla Walker and David Conklin, who have been with the department since 2008 and 2011 respectively, allege that the Richardson Police Department has used a quota system since before they joined. They claim they never took part in it and that after filing complaints against the system, they were illegally harassed and retaliated against by the department.
The suit alleges that the during the tenure of Former Chief Jimmy Spivey, who retied in May 2021, there was “an unwritten but well-known policy that constituted a ticket quota in violation of the Texas Transportation Code Section 772.002” that required officers “to be at or above the departmental or sector averages in their traffic ticket writing.”
Moreover, the suit claims, “failure to maintain an ‘average’ number of tickets would result in disciplinary action, including poor evaluations that would lead to immediate negative working conditions that could lead to termination for cause.” Walker alleges that her employment file contains “many such references or requirements” about not reaching specific numbers of traffic stops.
The policy also allegedly applied to the number of arrests an officer made each month. Conklin claims that in 2016, he was “reprimanded for failing to arrest multiple persons” at a “mandatory arrest raid,” despite that doing so would have possibly been “unconstitutional” and “unreasonable.”
Although the department launched an internal investigation following Walker’s public claims, it found that her allegations were unsubstantiated. The lawsuit claims that this investigation was manipulated to included only a limited selection of officers and alleges that “patrol officers who were interviewed by outside counsel” confirmed an illegal quota system was in place.
The suit asks that a Dallas District Court Judge declare the ticket quota policy in violation of the Texas Transportation Code, order the Richardson Police Department to stop the policy, and compensate Walker and Conklin for infringing on their rights to free speech.
The case has yet to be assigned a judge or case number.
Richardson Police Chief Gary L. Tittle released the following statement on the matter:
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