Millersville police use points system to evaluate officers' work - WSMV News 4

Millersville police use points system to evaluate officers' work

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Questions surround a program one Midstate police department uses to track and evaluate the work of its officers.

Millersville police officers are given anywhere from half a point to three points for doing everything from responding to a call to making a physical arrest.

There's a minimum that must be met each month, but whether the system - which has been in place for seven years - equates to a quota depends on whom you ask.

In a memo obtained by Channel 4 News, the points system is explained. Answering a call from dispatch is worth a half a point. Traffic tickets are worth two, and officers who make an arrest get three points.

At the end of the month, the officer has to have averaged at least five points per shift.

Police Chief Ronnie Williams says it's not a quota, rather it's simply a way of making sure officers are actually working while on the clock.

"You have to keep checks and balances on police officers because you don't want an officer to work eight hours and do nothing. I mean, you need to be enforcing the law and protecting the citizens who travel on these streets," Williams said.

Since the points are calculated on a monthly basis, an officer may get 10 points one day just responding to calls and go days without writing a single ticket.

"There's another officer, that his utilization was an 8.8. There was four days out of the 15 he worked that he didn't write a citation," Williams said.

Still, some citizens are concerned the points system forces officers to write tickets whether they're warranted or not.

"Having a quota, it makes people who are doing what they are supposed to do every day and can get harassed because of it, because the police are trying to make their quota," said Millersville resident Brian Rye.

But Williams says the policy is here to stay.

"I stand behind it. I feel good about it. It's fair, and I will stand behind it," he said.

Channel 4 contacted 10 other area police departments to see if they use a points system to evaluate their officers, and all of them said no.

The chief in Berry Hill says they used to do this but stopped about 16 years ago because it wasn't effective.

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