FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A WINK News investigation continues. Does the Florida Highway Patrol have ticket quotas? After our first story aired Wednesday, we got new documents from inside the agency. They were sent to us by a trooper, claiming the agency has a quota to fill. FHP is standing firm, saying they do not.
The spreadsheets break down each county in terms of hours on the road, arrests and DUIs. Certain sections are highlights and one trooper believes there is a quota because of that but the Florida Highway Patrol says no. They tell WINK News it's supervisors addressing performance issues.
Pages of spreadsheets obtained by WINK News are what one trooper says is a sign of a quota system. They're not secret inside FHP, any trooper can see them. Lieutenant Greg Bueno confirms the spreadsheets are real FHP documents.
According to Bueno, areas highlighted in yellow mean the trooper is a top producer in the area meaning they're making arrests, writing tickets and catching drunk drivers. Red areas highlighted means improvement is needed.
"Address those troopers that we need to identify to make sure they're in line with the agency's priorities," said Bueno.
The spreadsheets came out after a memo was sent to WINK News, accusing FHP of a quota system. That is something Bueno says is simply not true.
"We do not have a quota. We're simply trying to protect the citizens and visitors of the state of Florida and we hold our troopers accountable to be in line with that," said Bueno.
A trooper who contacted WINK News anonymously, also accused FHP of taking cars away from troopers who don't write enough tickets.
"We replace our aging fleet is simply done upon mileage. There is some discretion that our supervisors have that comes into play with that," said Bueno.
WINK News wanted to ask drivers about this memo sent out by FHP. If they think its troopers trying to meet a quota or if its just troopers simply telling other troopers to get drunk drivers off the road.
"They should just be out doing their normal job not having shifts to go find DUIs," said Josh Stabb, a driver
"It looks like whatever they need to do to get the drunk people off the road, take care of it," said Kevin Banfield, a driver.
One of the top priorities for FHP is to remove drunk drivers off the road. Bueno says they'll continue to do that and work with their troopers to do the same through communication and training.
"It is strictly a performance issue and its a way for our supervisors to interact with our troopers and to see what our troopers are doing on the roadway," said Bueno.
An attorney WINK News spoke to earlier this week said the memo could be used for an acquittal in court if need be. FHP did not want to comment about that.