SLAUGHTER- High-ranking members of the Slaughter Police Department are accusing Slaughter Mayor Robert Jackson of breaking the law tonight.
It all centers around a quota they claim he imposed recently. Police Chief Walter Smith and Assistant Chief Bobby Hopson said on multiple occasions their officers were told to write 40 tickets each month.
"You told me 40 tickets a month would be perfect for each officer because it would keep the budget going good," Hopson is heard on a recording with Mayor Robert Jackson.
"I agree with that. I agree with that," Jackson responds. "We sat down and looked at the numbers with the Chief, and that's what we come up with and thought it would be a workable number."
Chief Walter Smith said he never agreed to a quota, and says he even told the Mayor it was illegal. Those sentiments are also echoed by the Assistant Chief.
"We've told him before that it's illegal to give ticket quotas," Hopson said.
According to RS: 40:2401.1, "municipalities and their police departments are prohibited from establishing or maintaining on a formal or informal basis policies which require or suggest predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of arrests or traffic citations."
That goes against what Chief Smith and Assistant Chief Hopson said Mayor Jackson told them.
"You can't set a quota, they have the right to do their job," Chief Smith said.
Today, the WBRZ Investigative Unit went to question Mayor Robert Jackson about what was on that recording. Initially, he denied saying he ordered a quota. So we played the recording for him.
"I told Bobby, and Bobby and I, but you ended it before I said 40 interactions," Jackson said. "Let it keep going."
So we continued playing the recording. Never did Jackson say he told the Police Chief, Assistant Cheif or other Officers in the Department about interacting 40 times with the public. The Chief and Assistant Chief are also not mincing their words. They said the Mayor's orders were clear. He wanted 40 tickets per month.
"It's recorded, obviously it's me speaking," Jackson said. "Yeah, I did it, but I didn't say a 40 ticket minimum quota. 40 interactions a month."
Tonight, the Mayor said he has no regrets.
"I'd rather see them doing their job than sitting around here watching Netflix," Jackson said.
Tonight, the Police Chief and Assistant Chief say they intend to reach out to the Attorney General after they claim they were told to break the law by the man in charge of their town.
"As a law enforcement officer, any time someone is breaking the law, it's my job to expose it," Hopson said. "That's what I took an oath to do as a law enforcement officer."
The Mayor added, this whole mess started because people in town were complaining about how many tickets the Slaughter Police Department was issuing. The Police Department says on average they write about 80 tickets a month. The quota the Mayor wants would double that number.