Fixing Tickets

About a month ago a New York Times article laid out a complex new procedure the city’s police department had instituted for traffic ticket accountability. I don’t remember all of the details of the process (follow the link and read the story if the process is of interest) but I remember thinking that it seemed like a lot of time, effort and expense to replace an existing system that presumably worked pretty well.

Turns out that the system wasn’t working all that well. Today, another article lays out a far-reaching criminal investigation into the apparently routine practice of New York City police officers of “fixing” tickets for family members and favored VIPs. While this investigation involves informants, secret recordings and all kinds of sophisticated crime-fighting stuff and is rumored to implicate more than 300 officers, other current and former officers see nothing wrong with the practice:

State Senator Eric Adams, a Democrat from Brooklyn and a former city police captain who has been talking to his friends on the force about the issue, said such professional courtesies did not amount to corruption. He said it was a norm in law-enforcement agencies around the country. “Other states are laughing at us,” Mr. Adams said. “They’re saying, ‘Are you guys kidding me?’ ”

Professional courtesy?