The department is not even aware of another law enforcement agency which utilizes quotas.

The McPherson Police Department received an award Monday for its efforts in traffic enforcement, so now seems an appropriate time to squelch a rumor often passed around McPherson about tickets, warnings, and especially quotas.

The following is not traffic law, but relates to traffic stops in the city of McPherson.

First, the McPherson Police Department does not have quotas. The department is not even aware of another law enforcement agency which utilizes quotas. The job description states a patrol officer “enforces all laws… protects the life, property, and peace of the citizens of McPherson; makes arrests and issues traffic citations [tickets]…” The description does not specify quantity. 

The reasons to issue a ticket versus a warning are as varied as the officers are. The officer’s discretion determines many violations, though not all.

It is important to remember the purpose of a ticket is to check unlawful, and therefore unsafe, behavior. Tickets protect “the life, property, and peace” of every resident by stopping illegal or dangerous behavior in the moment.

Tickets also potentially check the reoccurrence of the behavior in the future. 

Sometimes, folks complain about instances they believe a warning should have been issued instead of a ticket. Others agree with Gandhi, who said, “Your actions become your habits,” and instead, choose to take the moment for what it is: an opportunity to correct unsafe action before it becomes an unlawful habit.

Each Tuesday, as activity permits, McPherson Police Department addresses a topic dealing with traffic enforcement in the city of McPherson. The Traffic Section of Patrol Bureau organizes this feature. Please phone an officer at the non-emergency number, 620-245-1200, if you have a question that requires an immediate answer.