New York Daily News

August 21, 2003

Pataki summons a veto on tix-writing quota ban

By JOE MAHONEY
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF

ALBANY - Gov. Pataki vetoed a bill yesterday that would have made it illegal for police departments to impose ticket-writing and arrest quotas on cops.

Pataki said he didn't like the quotas, but sympathized with the city's argument that brass needs some way to measure performance.

"Unfortunately, it is difficult to draft legislation that draws a bright line between impermissible quotas and the legitimate consideration of performance measures," Pataki said in killing the bill passed by both houses of the Legislature this spring.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the Daily News last night he didn't buy Pataki's logic, contending the department can evaluate cops' performance without quotas."The [NYPD] says there are no quotas - so why have they fought this law so vehemently?" he said. "The citizens of the city and the officers know it's real, and it has to be corrected. It's killing morale."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has adamantly denied charges by critics that the Bloomberg administration is pressuring cops to produce more revenue for the cash-strapped city by writing more summonses.

Though lawmakers chose to override Pataki this year on a raft of budget-related issues, it's unlikely that will happen on the quota bill because the Assembly is not scheduled to return to Albany until January. A special session is not out of the question, though.