Fayetteville Police Chief Says Department Doesn’t Have DWI Quotas

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- The Fayetteville police chief said his department does not have DWI ticket quotas after he was subpoenaed to testify before a jury on Thursday (March 19).

Police Chief Greg Tabor went before Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay to testify about a federal grant program called the Selective Enforcement Traffic Program, or STEP.

"We do not have any quotas when it comes to anything," Tabor said. "When it comes to speeding tickets or DWI arrests, we do not have any quotas."

Officers who are part of STEP are expected to make two traffic stops an hour and one DWI arrest every eight hours shift. Tabor said that's a performance expectation, but not a quota.

"Is it an expected level of performance?  Yes, there is and there's some goals in this program of one DWI arrest every eight hours averaged throughout the year," Tabor said. "But is that a quota? No, it's not. It's a goal."

The chief said there are no repercussions for officers who don't meet the STEP goals. He also said the STEP program encourages some of his officers to keep their eyes out for DWI offenders.

"The officers still have to have probable cause to stop you," Tabor said. "They still have to have probable cause to make a DWI arrest, whether they are working STEP or just normal patrol duties. None of that changes just because [officers] are working the STEP program."

Tabor said the Fayetteville Police Department has been part of the STEP program since the late 1990's.

Tabor was subpoenaed to testify regarding the DWI arrest of a Texas man in 2013. According to his arrest report, Christopher Allen Baker, 39, of Frisco, Texas, was pulled over by a Fayetteville police officer on November 24, 2013 for driving left of center on Lafayette Avenue. The reports states Baker had glassy, blood-shot eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of intoxicants about his person. It also states the suspect admitted to drinking alcohol and performed poorly on the standard field sobriety tests. He was arrested on several charges including DWI, according to the report.

Defense attorneys showed the jury the video of Baker's arrest on Thursday saying their client never showed any signs of being intoxicated.

The jury trial is expected to continue in Washington County Circuit Court Friday.

20 comments

  • Woody

    shouldn’t have any problems pulling over 2 per hour if they hang out on Crossover Road between 45 and 16. it’s like a friggin race track, if you travel the speed limit you’ll get run over.

    • Mr. Informative

      First, speeding is easier to quantify. Second, it gives the officers a big incentive to pull people over and find them drunk to meet “expectations.” And that’s if the officers even perform the field sobriety tests right.

  • James

    I’ve been stopped twice on trumped-up reasons, forced to submit to endless “walk heal to heal, toe to toe” subjective nonsense and basically harassed until I told them to either give me a BAT or let me go. Now I know why.

  • Andy

    According to documents, under a program called STEP (Selective Enforcement Traffic Program) Fayetteville police officers are required to pull over two drivers every hour and make a DWI arrest every eight hours.

    A requirement is a quota. And that is exactly the program they have in place.

  • Your mom

    Fayetteville doucheb@gs pull folks over , test them and then when they blow .03 the cop is clearly pissed as if you wasted their time and as if they lost a bet. All liberal cities that can not get revenue the right way; they then go down this road eventually just ask Ferguson.

    • cto

      Mom, I have seen douchebags and I have seen Police Officers and they look nothing alike. Your comment as silly as it is makes it clear you are a racist therefore it should be discounted. It seems as if you have had a extensive background when it comes to DWI’s, get sober nimrod.

  • wells

    So basically, if you don’t want to call it a quota, then all you have to do is say it’s an expectation of performance? So they are expecting people to break laws? I’ve been pulled over before saying my license plate light was out and after I told them no, the police still got me out of the car and searched me, and found nothing. The zinger is my light wasn’t out. This is doing nothing more than encouraging the police to harass people. There is no punishment for not meeting standards but the real question is are there performance incentives? Are they being rewarded for writing tickets? I’ve also been pulled over on Leverett And they said I was going 30 in a 25 zone. The posted speed was 30. I made that clear to them and even after I said no over and over, I got searched. Again they found nothing. If this isn’t harassment, I don’t know what is.

  • Hurlbut

    he’s full of shit! How do you think they make their money? It is way easier than investigating crimes! cheaper and lazier too! I agree that driving under the influence and driving recklessly needs to be addressed for the safety of the public and the driver for that matter. But he his blowing smoke up our a**eswhen he says there is now quota! BS! I know for fact the officers actually get into trouble if they don’t meet their quota and their is a party, about monthly when the quota is met. So go blow your smoke up someone else’s A!

  • Jack

    I all for pulling over and arresting drunk drivers but when you have a set amount then that is no matter what is said it’s going to lead to trouble for us the citizens. The only quota that needs to be meet is everyone you see you get

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