The Traffic Stop: Regarding Tickets, Warnings, & Quotas

By McPherson Police Department
March 31, 2015

It’s the last day of the month so it seems an appropriate time to squelch a rumor often passed around about tickets, warnings, and especially quotas in McPherson. The following is not traffic law, but relates to traffic stops in the City of McPherson.

First and foremost, the McPherson KS Police Department DOES NOT HAVE QUOTAS. We are not even aware of another law enforcement agency which utilizes quotas. With that said, the job description states a Patrol Officer “Enforces all laws… Protects the life, property, and peace of the citizens of McPherson; Makes arrests and issues traffic citations [tickets]…” No quantity is mentioned.

The reasons to issue a ticket versus a warning are as varied as the officers are. Many violations are left up to the Officer’s discretion, though NOT ALL. It’s important to remember that the purpose of a ticket is to check unlawful –and therefore unsafe, behavior. Tickets protect “the life, property, and peace” of everyone by stopping illegal or dangerous behavior in the moment. They may also potentially check the possibility of reoccurrence of the behavior in the future.

Sometimes, folks complain about instances they believe a warning “should have been” issued instead of a ticket. Others agree with Gandhi who said, “Your actions become your habits” and instead, choose to take the moment for what it is: an opportunity to correct unsafe action before it becomes an unlawful habit.

Each Tuesday, as activity permits, we address a topic dealing with traffic enforcement in the City of McPherson. This feature is organized by the Traffic Section of Patrol Bureau. PRIVATE MESSAGE us your traffic enforcement questions unrelated to the addressed topic. We may address your question in a future “Traffic Stop”. If you have a question which requires an immediate answer please phone one of our Officers at our non-emergency number: (620)245-1200.