So much for that theory of cops' ticket quotas.
San Francisco police officers are issuing fewer traffic citations, with an 18 percent drop in tickets from 2010 to 2011 observed by the San Francisco Examiner. And the SFPD's traffic division -- the motorcyle cops on Harley Davidsons, for example -- have issued a jaw-dropping 44 percent fewer tickets over the most recent calendar year, according to the newspaper.
The reasons are myriad, according to Capt. Al Casciato, who runs the traffic division. For one, the rain has kept motorcyle cops indoors. For second, training of new officers kept veteran ticket-issuers off of the streets, and retirements, transfers and other personnel shufflings has put traffic cops in other jobs in the department.
The traffic division also has 50 percent fewer cops that it had just a few years ago, from 100 officers down to 50 today, the newspaper noted.
That said, it's also possible that enforcement efforts have worked in deterring motorists from breaking the law. For example, the department issued 7,258 tickets for using a cellphone while driving in 2010, whereas the department figures to issue less than 2,000 this year.
And not every district station has been stingy with the tickets: Ingleside Station, which covers some of the southern portion of the city, has doled out some 6,582 tickets over the first six months of 2011 compared to 4,240 in 2010.