Raleigh City Council members Tuesday took no action on a new police evaluation program, effectively approving what some say amounts to a quota system for officers.
The program, proposed by the Police Chief’s office, is a way to measure the effectiveness of police officers by establishing an informal quota that measures an officer’s rate of on-duty activities such as arrests and traffic stops.
Teamsters Local 391, a union that represents some Raleigh police officers, has come out against the system, calling it “troubling” and “arbitrary.” Other critics argue that the program will inevitably lead to more aggressive officers.
Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan told the City Council’s Law and Public Safety committee last week he doesn’t think that will happen.
“Many people think that a quota will cause our officers to enforce things they would have ignored in the past,” Dolan said. “But that simply isn’t the case. I’m very confident in my officers and their discretion.”
A consultant has already been hired to evaluate the program, and the Law and Public Safety Committee directed the police department to share that final report with the city manager and City Council when it’s finished.
Dolan retired Thursday after working in law enforcement for 32 years. His presentation to the committee represented one of his last public acts as city police chief.
“I just think that the program is good business,” he said.
City Councilors did not vote for or against the program Tuesday, but the lack of action means the program can move forward.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Councilor John Odom said last week. “We always need a measuring stick to see who’s doing what and how they’re doing it.”