Auburn, Alabama’s police force is facing scrutiny from freedom watchdog groups after one of its officers was fired for resisting heavy new quotas designed – according to the officer – to put people in jail and increase revenues.
Former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners claims that his department gave officers strict orders to “make contact” with at least 100 people per month. Making contact means investigating, ticketing and arresting, and in a town of about 50,000 people, the requirement seemed a little bit more than extreme.
“I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully,” said Hanners, who claims to have audio recordings of his superiors instructing officers to issue tickets and put people in jail. ”There are not that many speeders, there are not that many people running red lights to get those numbers, so what [the police] do is they lower their standards,” Hanners remarked.
Hanners consistently raised concern up his chain of command, believing the policy to be focused only on increasing revenue for the city.
According to a Reason.com report, the superior officer that targeted Hanners for firing recently retired, citing medical reasons.