RICHARDSON, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Richardson Police Department officers filed a lawsuit against the City of Richardson and police officials, claiming they were unlawfully forcing 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, say the Richardson Police Department used a quota system before they joined. They claim that they never participated and that after filing a complaint against the system, they were unlawfully harassed and retaliated by the department.
The lawsuit alleges that during the tenure of former Chief Jimmy Spivey, who retired in May 2021, there was “an unwritten but well-known policy that constituted a ticket quota in violation of Texas Transportation Section 772.002 Code” which required officers “to be at or above departmental or sectoral averages in writing their tickets.”
Additionally, according to the lawsuit, “Failure to meet an ‘average’ number of tickets would result in disciplinary action, including poor evaluations that would lead to immediate negative working conditions that could result in termination for cause.” Walker alleges that his employment file contains “numerous such references or requirements” regarding not reaching a specific number of traffic stops.
The policy also applied to the number of arrests an officer made each month. Conklin claims that in 2016 he was “reprimanded for failing to arrest multiple people” in a “mandatory arrest roundup”, although that may have been “unconstitutional” and “unreasonable”.
Although the department launched an internal investigation following Walker’s public claims, it found that his allegations were unfounded. The lawsuit claims that this investigation was manipulated to include only a limited selection of officers and alleges that “patrol officers who were interviewed by outside counsel” confirmed that an illegal quota system was in place. .
The lawsuit asks that a Dallas District Court judge declare the ticket quota policy a violation of the Texas Transportation Code, order the Richardson Police Department to stop the policy, and compensate Walker and Conklin for violating their rights to freedom of expression.
The case has not yet been assigned to a judge or case number.
Richardson Police Chief Gary L. Tittle released the following statement on the matter: