Watch: Cop Speaks Out Against Ticket Quota, Urges Officers To Serve And Protect, Gets Fired



Former Auburn, Ala., police officer Justin Hanners became disturbed when a new chief at his department ordered officers to hassle, ticket and arrest specific numbers of residents per shift if they valued their jobs.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” he said. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners filed formal complaints to his chain of command and, getting nowhere, eventually began to speak out publically about the abuses. His superiors order him to shut-up about the abuses—and when he didn’t, Hanners was fired.

He is currently looking for a lawyer to help him sue the department.

H/T: Reason 

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • JR

    This guy should be promoted not fired. It’s nice to see someone who is willing to stand up for what he believes in. I hope he finds a job soon! A police department would be lucky to have this guy on there force.

  • manuel

    Just one more example of the nazifying of police departments across this once great nation. These are the tactics used by the SA and eventully the SS in Hitler’s Germany. Folks, we are in a heap of trouble.

  • JJet

    I foresee a wrongful discharge lawsuit in the near future. I hope ex-Officer Hanners can make it a very costly learning experience for his former employer.

  • $20580097

    That man should be our President!

  • $20580097

    I think we ought to start some kind of fund to help Justin and his family out! my email is if anyone has any ideas

  • Eagle525

    Anyone that thinks your local government has your interests at heart, guess again. You have seen the cameras at intersections …. They are said to reduce accidents. Sure, and at about $100+ per photo they sure do contribute to the coffers, don’t they. I hope this officer sues the pants off the city and the “Gestapo Spirited” police chief get his butt FIRED!

    • Michael Shreve

      The number two cause of accidents is disobedience to traffic signs and signals. STILL, tickets should NOT be issued unless the offence is OBSERVED by a HUMAN traffic enforcement officer.

  • MontieR

    I do understand the danger of irresponsible weapons use. But for a public SERVANT to portray decent people as somehow criminal for having a firearm is simply a criminal act in DIRECT violation of our constitution.

  • dan

    Boss Hog in Auburn , Alabama…
    we got a whole lot of entrapment goin’ on heah!
    Keep the faith,Justin! Run for Chief…or Mayor

  • wavesofgrain

    All public employees should be serving at the pleasure of the taxpayers. Since Unionization of these said employees, they now expect the taxpayer to serve at THEIR pleasure. I hope the officer wins a big settlement.
    Police were hired to protect and serve the public first and foremost. Now, most are hiding in rest areas with their radar on to catch speeders. As much money as that department has raked in from the public, it should be a self funded entity, but it isn’t. They are constantly whining for more police millages. I’m beginning to think they deliberately ignore a lot of crime, so the rates stay high…therefore more money to fight “crime”. Notice, the more militant union the cities are, the more crime there is.

  • DalasKnight

    The citizens of Auburn need to make it clear to chief Dawson that he is now the enemy and as such he is not welcome in any of the business establishments or socially in the community!!

  • Walt

    Sad that this fine officer was forced out of the job he loved because he had integrity. He should run for Mayor or Police Chief and he should let the folks in Auburn know what the hell is going on in their city. He should make that Police Chief’s life a living hell, by attending city commission meetings, posting letters to the editor, etc.

  • TheSilverRanger

    Looks like cops like Dawson need to read the message I’m about to post.

    The point of this isn’t to judge whether cops are justified in doing what they do. This article has nothing to do with police training. And this isn’t just about
    American cops. This is about the perception that we, the public, have of you
    when you perform the following actions. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with
    these perceptions, because right or wrong, they exist. The point of this article
    is to simply let you know that we’re watching, and this is how we see

    1. When ten of you show up to make one arrest, it makes you look
    like cowards.

    On my way home from a bike ride, I saw three arrests being made in under an hour in a relatively safe part of the city. At one of the incidents, eight police cruisers responded to make one arrest. The guy who was arrested was ejected for being too drunk in a bar. Just one guy, and he was drunk. He had a stupid moustache, hadn’t hurt anyone and was drunkenly walking home when he was tased and tackled by 3 cops before 6 police cruisers showed up in addition to the two that were there, for a total of 8 cruisers and 10 cops. The man was unarmed.

    How much backup do you need? It’s one guy. If you can’t handle one drunk guy by yourself, you shouldn’t be a cop. Training tells you otherwise? Well stop
    being trained by sissies.

    2. When you tase somebody who IS NOT trying to escape, it makes you look like lazy cowards.

    A taser IS NOT a remote-control for people. Want to talk to someone? Then walk over to them and talk. Don’t tase them and expect them to cooperate. Also, when someone is being tased and is writhing in cardiac arrest on the ground, they aren’t “resisting arrest” by not getting on their knees and neatly kowtowing to your demands. They’re incapacitated. You look like idiots barking orders at them when they can’t move.

    Being a cop has certain risks associated with it. If you aren’t comfortable
    with those risks, don’t take the job. Always trying to minimize your risk of
    injury at the expense of others by being a taser-happy loonatic makes you look
    like lazy sissies.

    Tasing everyone you see because they might pose a risk to you is like spraying everything with a fire extinguisher so it doesn’t catch fire. Part of
    the problem might be that many cops are overweight and out of shape. If you
    fatsos can’t chase someone down, then you shouldn’t be cops. Studies have shown that not being a lardo is just as effective as using a taser.

    3. When you set up speed traps, it makes you look like you don’t have anything better to do.

    I get happy every time I see a speed trap, because I assume it means all
    criminals have been locked up, you’ve caught the guys who broke into my car on three separate occasions and my stolen property will be returned shortly, right idiots? Good job guys, take a break and make some scratch for the city.
    Because why the hell else would you be sitting on your butt in a ditch if that
    wasn’t the case?

    People who speed are awesome. The last thing this world needs is more slow
    drivers. Traffic jams occur because of idiots braking prematurely.

    And when you pull people over, how about doing it in a place that doesn’t
    obstruct traffic? You know what’s just as “unsafe” as speeding? Having to swerve into another lane because your stupid car is blocking traffic. Every time I pass another cruiser parked in two lanes, backing up traffic for miles, it makes me literally punch myself in the jaw until I pass out.

    4. When you give out imbecillic tickets for rolling through stop-signs at 3 AM, or closing down lemonade stands, it makes us think you’re morons.

    We know that “the law is the law.” We also know that you’re not instruction-executing robotic automatons. When you harass us with nonsensical fees and
    fines, it makes us question your judgement. We know that this kind of trash is
    all about the money.

    Remember that case in Florida where a pair of LEOs closed down a lemonade stand operated by a 6 and 9 year old girl, because they didn’t have a permit?

    The legal age for entering into contract in the United States is 18. So that
    effort to charge them fees by making them apply for a permit? Illegal. Law is
    the law, right? Arrest yourselves. And speaking of nepotism…

    5. We know you guys use the buddy system to get out of speeding tickets. And it infuriates us to no end.

    Cops have a code that basically amounts to always letting fellow cops go.
    When a cop pulls over an off-duty officer, the officer who was pulled over
    discreetly flashes his badge to let him know that he’s on the force, and he’s
    simply let go. You think we don’t know what’s going on, jerkwads? It’s a
    courtesy not extended to anyone else, lest the officer is having a particularly
    good day and isn’t PMSing all over the highway.

    Sometimes you write tickets for going 1 over the speed limit, sometimes it’s
    10. Then when you get called on doing something stupid like writing a ticket to
    someone for a law that shouldn’t be enforced and rarely is (like jay-walking in
    New York), you hide behind your tired mantra that it’s the law and that you have to be consistent. Except when you aren’t.

    6. When you flash your lights just to get through intersections, you look like scumbags.

    I’ve followed cops who’ve done this, only to see them park their cruisers for
    coffee or lunch. And speaking of lunch…

    7. When you park in a red zone to eat, it makes you look like lazy scumbags.

    The argument can be made that police officers need to be near their cruisers
    at all times in case of an emergency. Fine, but that doesn’t entitle you to eat
    at the most popular restaurants. If you want to eat at some trendy restaurant,
    park at a meter and pay, like everyone else. Can’t find a meter? Tough luck, go someplace else. Doctors, surgeons, rescue workers and security all have
    important jobs where people’s lives are at stake, and you don’t see their cars
    popped up on the curb, obstructing traffic and parked illegally so they can fill
    their fat faces with lunch. We know you’ll never get written a ticket (see #5),
    it infuriates us, and it makes us trust you less, and cooperate less.

    Now this is the part where I say “I know that police officers have a tough job,” but they don’t. Being a cop isn’t hard, it’s dangerous. There’s a difference. Being an engineer, teacher or airline pilot is hard. Being a logger, deep sea crab fisher, coal miner or firefighter is hard and dangerous. Being a cop is dangerous, but usually not hard. Driving around, issuing moronic tickets and filling out paperwork isn’t hard, it’s annoying.

    This is also the part where I say “now I know that most cops are good,” but I
    don’t. I only know two cops in real life, and they’re both awesome, but so is
    anyone I choose to call my friend. Most cops I see abuse their power every day by parking illegally, talking on their cellphones while driving, drifting in and
    out of lanes without turn signals, flashing their lights to get out of intersections and power tripping like crazy. If you’re a cop who’s reading this, rather than being butt-hurt by people’s perceptions of you, do something to change it. Write a fellow officer a ticket. Stick your neck out for us, rather than your colleague for a change. Do the right thing. We notice.

    And as for us: record cops. Record them all the time. Record them even if
    they’re not doing anything. Cops are cracking down on this and they’re trying to change the laws to make it illegal so they can’t be held accountable for
    breaking the law. They look up your plates every time they’re behind you at a
    stop, even if you haven’t done anything, just to check up on you. It’s time we
    started checking up on them. Who watches the watchers, if you will.

    • wavesofgrain

      One of the best posts on this forum, TheSilverRanger, well said.

      And I have always wondered, with the all the cash the cops get from taxpayers, that mandatory GPS/Recorders are not in every car. The dispatchers can then find out where a cop is when needed for calls. And how in the HE$$ did citizens start having to be accountable to our cops/government, when the citizens hired them to protect and serve/work for us/at the will of the citizens? It was one of the greatest travesties of the US when they allowed unionization of public employees. They are now the protected Mafia Arm of the Democratic Party, and working against the citizens.

  • Libertarian Soldier

    The wrong person got fired.

  • Michael Shreve

    QUOTAS serve two purposes, REVENUE and proof of effort. NEITHER is valid or justified. The PUBLIC is ill served by quota systems and they SHOULD be ILLEGAL everywhere.

  • Alan

    Well that figures. How dare he be so righteous in his approach to his duty. Oh, were it that I was the attorney he seeks. I wouldn’t rest a second until this case was settled in his favor.

  • Ibn Inshq

    This is just one police department. There are hundreds more like this. Each should be sued out of existence. Now, do you understand why gun ownership is opposed by politicians and police departments? Citizens being able to protect themselves makes police irrelevant.

  • heidi

    i wish the officer the best. too much corruption in today’s world—the ones doing what is right are the ones punished.