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Ala. cop allegedly fired for speaking against quotas

The former officer says the reasons the chief claims he was fired are a cover, because he wouldn't comply with arrest quotas

By PoliceOne Staff

AUBURN, Ala. — Officer Justin Hanners is claiming he was fired from the Auburn Police Department in January because he spoke out against the police chief, who allegedly forced his officers to comply with ticket and arrest quotas.

According to Hanners, who had been with Auburn police since 2006, quota demands didn’t start until Chief Tommy Dawson took over the division in 2010.

“When Chief Dawson came in, immediately afterward, they started telling us that we had to have two tickets a day and two warnings a day on average and if we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t get promoted, we would get bad evaluations and if we continued to not do it, we would get written up and ultimately fired,” Hanners told the Opelika-Auburn News.

Dawson, who retired in July citing medical reasons, denied the allegations.

“You have to look at the broad picture,” Dawson said. “You don’t get terminated just because you don’t have a certain amount of citations. I’ve never asked anybody to do anything I haven’t done myself personally and I’m just saddened that someone would insinuate that I somehow did anything different than care about the citizens of Auburn and try to work hard to improve the city of Auburn and make it a better place to live.”

Dawson claims that Hanners was fired for another reason, stemming from a message he sent to another officer months earlier.  Hanners believes that Dawson went digging for an excuse to let him go.

In an interview with Reason Magazine, Hanners said, “I got into law enforcement because I want serve and protect, not be a bully. The role of police in society — I believe — are to interfere with the lives of the people as little as possible, but protect them from the one percent element that wants to victimize them. Protect the people and the property.”

Audio recordings of Auburn superiors allegedly prove the existence of quotas and back Hanners’ claims.

The Auburn Police Department has declined to comment on the story.

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