2024 Bills

HB 547: Restrictions on Traffic Ticket Quotas

To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker. Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it aligns with our principles and should therefore be passed into law.

An indication of a thriving, healthy community is the absence of crime. Requiring officers to meet arrest quotas or other types of reports where there may not be a supply can result in an inefficient use of policing. HB 547, sponsored by Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost, seeks to help communities and law enforcement officers alike, not only by eliminating quotas, but by ensuring that officers can’t be reprimanded for failing to meet quotas, and by implementing alternative tools measuring the performance and success of law enforcement professionals. 

This bill would abolish the use of quotas as a tool for peace officer evaluation and would prohibit police stations from mandating arrest, stop, citation, or other quotas. While there may not always be a spoken or written rule enforcing quotas, the implicit pressure can skew policing priorities away from public safety and towards hitting numerical targets. This bill creates a systematic shift that is not just another legislative change, but a cultural shift towards valuing quality law enforcement interactions over quantity- ensuring that police efforts are in the best interest of the communities in which they serve.

The advocacy for such a shift is deeply rooted in the principles of liberty that emphasize the importance of limited government intervention and overreach. This movement against police quotas has gained momentum across the U.S., reflecting a broader recognition of the detrimental effects they have on communities nationwide. This nationwide trend is bipartisan, with states like California and Arizona both making strides in redefining success in law enforcement based on community safety and satisfaction, rather than quantitative metrics like quotas that may not accurately reflect the nuances of effective policing. 

A crucial component of HB 547 mandates the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to develop model standards for evaluating peace officer performance without the use of quotas. This innovative approach aims to transition towards different assessment methods, promising to nurture a policing culture that prioritizes genuine safety over numerical achievements. Such model standards are anticipated to redefine the metrics of success in Utah policing, aligning them more closely with the needs of the communities they serve. By fostering an environment where the focus is on meaningful public interaction, HB 547 sets the stage for a future where law enforcement and community welfare are better linked, ensuring that peace officers’ efforts are truly in the best interest of those they took an oath to protect.

By aligning law enforcement evaluation with principles of accountability, effectiveness, and community well-being, HB 547 proposes a model of policing that reflects a commitment to justice as well as to the economic and moral values embraced by these legislative efforts. This bill represents an important step towards a Law Enforcement system in Utah where police success is not measured by the quotas, but by the genuine safety and satisfaction of Utah communities.