Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Chief Livesay and Quota Systems

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, February 18, 2006

I have been a salesman for over 20 years selling mostly telecommunications products and services. For 20 years I carried a quota. It isn't an easy thing to carry a quota – one feels the "monkey on your back" all the time. Eventually you get used to it, but the monkey is still their.

When you go into sales you expect a quota. It is a business after all, and revenue is a critical component to keep the lights on and people paid. However, if you are a law enforcement officer quotas are a completely different thing.

Take a look how Howard County Police Officers feel about quotas in this Washington Post article.

Or look at the Baltimore Sun story

(Looks like the Chief got squeezed on this one.

This kind of policy creates divisions within the department.

Although some supervisors told their squads that they would not enforce the policy, others threatened their officers with disciplinary action if they did not comply, the sources said.

"Everyone was outraged that there might be disciplinary actions for not meeting a quota," one police source said.

This is surprising. The program has been in effect for two months and he is just hearing about complaints? I run an organization of 60 people in Maine, Boston, Maryland, and Irving, TX. I talk to everyone at every level in my organization because I want to know what is going on in the business, and to spot good talent. It doesn't take 2 months for complaints to reach me and I can't understand why it would take 2 months (3 months according to the Baltimore Sun Article) to reach anyone else.

According to the Post article:

Sherry Llewellyn, a department spokeswoman, said Chief G. Wayne Livesay suspended the directive for all officers yesterday morning after first learning about the complaints Thursday. He believes the officers "may have misinterpreted" the policy, she said.

The Sun says:

Howard Police Chief Wayne Livesay canceled the short-lived policy yesterday after learning about it from The Sun the day before. Up until then, Livesay said, he had not seen the written agreement between commanders and patrol supervisors dated Nov. 22 that included consequences, such as warnings and additional performance evaluations, for patrol officers who did not meet the drunken-driving arrest and traffic-stop "goals."

Hadn't seen the directive? Who is running the Police Department? Well I admit it isn't me, and I don't know how things operate in the Howard County Police Department or any other Police Department. All I know is that I know how I run my organization and it is very hands on – so something like this wouldn't escape my attention for 2 or 3 months. I don't believe for a moment that Chief Livesay doesn't have a handle on the day to day activities of his organization.

It is probably more accurate to say "suspended the directive… after first learning this would be printed in the paper and he is now running for County Council."

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