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Recently a local television station announced that New York State troopers are subject to scrutiny in assessing their degree of commitment in not satisfying their "quota." The tone of this announcement suggested that a quota was not fair to the motoring public. In actuality, this assessment is unfair and unkind.

Yes, every officer is expected to exercise his authority by issuing a ticket if he observes a violation of the motor vehicle law. But because of variances in their job requirements, no set number could be appropriately assigned to the troopers on an individual basis.

The officers' tour of duty requires that they professionally investigate burglaries, disgruntled neighbors, dog bites, shoplifting and domestic disputes as well as traffic violations. These duties, of course, detract from time spent on what we might refer to as a normal patrol function.

I can think of few means of employment where a worker isn't evaluated and judged on his or her individual proficiency. I feel confident that every officer is determined to ticket every obvious violator that he or she encounters.

It would appear that some elements of our society have become detached from normal social behavior, thus the term "road rage." If a person receives a ticket, the officer's first intent is to correct the vehicular wrongdoing and save a life -- and in turn possibly the lives of others as a result of the offender's indiscretions.

Frank Martinke

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