FILE - NJ police 9-12-2020

Police officers are seen Sept. 12, 2020, during a political rally and counterprotest in Cresskill, New Jersey.

(The Center Square) – New Jersey police departments can no longer consider how many tickets an officer issued or the number of arrests made when evaluating their performance.

The prohibition is part of S-1322/A-4058, which Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed on Thursday.

“Not only is it unfair to factor the volume of citations and arrests into an officer’s performance evaluation when we did away with quotas decades ago, but there are much more effective performance measurements like decision-making abilities, response times and work ethic,” Assemblymen Hal Wirths, R-Sussex, said in a statement. “This law allows our dedicated police officers to focus on protecting and serving the public.”

While state law bans police departments from establishing arrest and ticket quotas, agencies could use an officer’s arrest and ticket data when evaluating job performance, proponents of the new law say. The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) said it had pushed lawmakers for years to prohibit departments from using officers’ arrest and ticket numbers in their job evaluations.

“For far too long unscrupulous local governments and police supervisors have tried to establish inappropriate ticket quotas,” state PBA President Pat Colligan said in a statement. “Police officers are not revenue collectors as some towns have tried to make them and creating quotas means ordering an officer to target motorists or face punishment. That ends today.”

Added Colligan: “This law will go far to further build trust between New Jersey police and the public.”