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Matt Weinstock -- March 20, 1959

March 20, 2009 |  4:00 pm

The Pinch Quota

Matt_weinstockdAn encouraging word came out of Sacramento the other day.

Bradford M. Crittenden, taking office as California Highway Patrol Commissioner, told newsmen CHP officers will not have to make a minimum of arrests each day. "Bad pinches," he said bluntly, "are bad law enforcement."

The news story continued: "Charges have been made in the Legislature and elsewhere that patrolmen are graded by the number of citations they issue and that promotions are given to officers with high arrest records."

Let us localize the picture and see what we get. We come immediately to that horrid word "quota."

1959_0320_weinstock ASK THE LAPD high command if there is a ticket quota and you get a horrified denial. Technically this is correct.

But let us take the hypothetical case of an ambitious policemen who writes a ticket for every violation he sees and perhaps one now and then that he only half sees. As any motorist knows, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. If a traffic officer goes by the book we're all guilty of some infraction every time we get behind the wheel.

Now let us say the captain of the station to which this eager beaver is attached is under pressure from downtown to step up enforcement because of several bad accidents in his area. What is to prevent him from calling in the other patrolmen and asking how come they wrote only three tickets the day before when the fireball wrote 12? Having no alternative, they pull a few suckers to the side and issue valentines.

AN INCREASING number of motorists feel that justice would better be served by friendly warnings instead of tickets for minor offenses. On serious offense, of course -- no mercy.

This would be possible if traffic officers were given full discretion to handle each case as they see fit instead of conforming to the philosophy that punishment is the only solution to the traffic dilemma.

* *

1959_0320_bandits A LISTENER phoned KMPC yesterday and asked to speak to Dick Whittinghill. He had a suggestion, he said.

When Dick came on the line the man went into a detailed explanation of his idea but Dick cut in with, "I'm sorry, I can't help you."

"Why?" the man asked.

"Because I'm not here today -- my show's on tape."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'll call back tomorrow."

* *

are fighting TV commercials again.

Christine Walters is worried about the gal with the sniffles who gets out of bed maybe a dozen times a day to take a cold remedy. The cold has hung on so long that Christine thinks the gal should discard the thin nightgown for flannel pajamas.

Ed Harding offers free to the Viceroy people another variation on their series. The scene is an operating room. In response to the key question the man with the scalpel tears off his mask and rubber gloves and says, "I'm not a surgeon -- I'm a CPA."

* *

The trouble with betting and winning a peso-
I fear I'll be getting carried a weso.

* *

1959_0320_abbyAT RANDOM -- No one seems to know why but racing drivers are superstitious about the color green. An automotive engineer entered in the Mobil-gas Economy Run to Kansas City received four new cars for the test but refused to accept two. Yep, bright green . . . Saddest man in Los Angeles this week is a trusting fellow who bought two Irish Sweepstakes tickets and learned the other day the seller hadn't turned in the money or the coupons on account he has been in jail for drunkenness. He'll always think of what might have been . . . Overheard by Paul Fierro in a Sunset Boulevard actors' hangout: "If he ever got the right break he'd be bigger than Lassie."