Highway safety chief assures no FHP ticket quotas

The response comes after an email written by a FHP supervisor ordering troopers to write two traffic citations per hour emerged

By Arek Sarkissian
Naples Daily News, Fla.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Department of Highway Safety Director Terry Rhodes told Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet state troopers have been reminded that ticket quotas are illegal, and the same message will be added to training material.

Rhodes addressed Scott and the Cabinet during a Wednesday meeting about an email written by a Florida Highway Patrol supervisor ordering troopers to write two traffic citations per hour. The email, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times, incorrectly insinuated that FHP uses a ticket quota system, Rhodes said.

State Attorney General Pam Bondi said the email, written by Maj. Mark Welch was "stupid."

“I was really troubled when I heard that comment,” Bondi said. “I just asked some troopers and they said, ‘absolutely not’ without any hesitation.

“It’s a stupid statement – that’s the only way to describe what that person said."

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said he was confident Rhodes quickly handled the issue.

Whether Welch will face discipline for the email remains under review. Rhodes said FHP is taking every step necessary to remind troopers ticket quotas are forbidden. Welch commands the Tallahassee-based troop that patrols eight counties in the Big Bend region.

“We’re working with our learning and development office to do online training with all of our FHP supervisors to ensure they know what Florida law is,” Rhodes said.

FHP Col. Gene Spaulding said troopers know they would never face discipline or be rewarded for a ticket quota.

“They know they have a job to do because their job is public safety,” Spaulding said.

©2017 the Naples Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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