PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, Vic Walczak, joined KDKA Radio’s Mike Pintek Tuesday afternoon to discuss Pittsburgh Police Commander George Trosky’s requirement for all police vehicles to stop at least 10 drivers each month for violating the state’s vehicle code.
Walczak says the policy raises several questions.
“I think that the difficulty is why are they doing this, what is the problem they are trying to address? So is it that police officers are not spotting traffic violations and if that’s the case then training would be appropriate.
“Is it a case were police officers are lazy and are not enforcing traffic violations that that see, well again that is a management issue that you should take up individuality with the officers, but when you set a numerical quota, when you set that kind of artificial number it’s an inducement for police officers to stop people just potentially to get a number … whether or not they have the requisite suspicion – you know, that’s the concern. And when you target an area with predominately African American population, you also bring in the potential for racial profiling.”
Zone 2 in the city of Pittsburgh covers 12 communities, including the Strip District, Downtown and the Hill District. The Zone 2 station accounted for only 8 percent of all city traffic stops last year.
“Rather than setting a numerical quota, target or goal for the officers, you talk to the ones aren’t being as aggressive as you’d like them to be and tell them to do more,” Walczak added.