FHP tells troopers 'no quotas' after email controversy

FHP focused on contact base instead of ticket base, attorney says

By Troy Campbell - Reporter, AP Author

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In an email obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, a Florida Highway Patrol major instructed troopers to issue two citations an hour.

The FHP told News 6 quotas are not allowed, and the directive is to encourage interaction with motorists to curb traffic accidents.

Attorney Jeff Lotter said he spent six years as an FHP trooper in Orlando. He said there has always been pressure to hold troopers accountable, but said the email won't help convince the public that quotas don't exist.

"I was a little bit shocked," he said. "Highway Patrol is always focused on a contact base instead of a ticket base."

In the email, the Tampa Bay times reports Maj. Mark Welch wrote, "The patrol wants to see two citations each hour."

Thursday night, FHP released a memo sent to troopers, emphasizing no one in FHP should ever feel pressured to meet a certain number of citations.

FHP also said the directive is to encourage face-to-face contact with troopers and the public in an effort to reduce dangerous vehicle wrecks.

Some politicians reacted to the email, since a 2015 law prevents the use of quotas.

Florida State Sen. Rob Bradley sent a Tweet Thursday evening that said, "As the sponsor of SB264, I can tell you this is exactly the type of policy that we sought to end."

According to FHP's website, there were a total of 859,738 citations issued in 2015, compared to 742,132 in 2016.

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