Police Officer Suing Lowell For Ticket Quotas
A former Lowell police officer is suing the city and the police department after claiming the department required illegal ticket quotas before firing him.
Kevin Knight said several officers were fired from the Lowell police force for failing to write the 20 to 25 tickets Knight said were expected from each officer per month, according to Benton County Circuit Court records.
Randy Harvey, a captain before taking over as Lowell’s new police chief earlier this week, warned Knight in October that his citation count for the prior month was too low, Knight said. He also claimed Harvey told him the officers under Knight’s supervision needed to write more tickets.
The lawsuit said Harvey again met with Knight in January about low citation numbers, with Harvey stressing the department needed more citations to increase revenue. Knight told Harvey and then-Chief Joe Landers he was uncomfortable enforcing the quota system and thought it was illegal, according to lawsuit documents.
Landers fired Knight on Jan. 23, telling him if all officers took Knight’s approach, the city court and police department would not have enough money to continue operating, the documents state.
The lawsuit seeks damages related to lost wages, benefits and court costs.