Local News

Wilson Considers Civilians For Handicap Parking Patrol

Posted June 26, 2002

— Wilson residents could soon have the power to catch people who park in spaces reserved for the handicapped.

Advocates for the handicapped back the idea of a new civilian patrol that would give volunteers the authority to issue tickets to people illegally parked in handicap spaces.

"They need some help. They don't have enough police force to do the shopping centers right," said Kay Bunch, a patrol advocate.

One councilman opposes the handicap patrol, especially the part about having regular citizens writing out tickets.

People backing the handicap enforcement said volunteers woudld receive police training.

The city council is expected to discuss the proposed patrol plan at its next meeting.

Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nevada and Tennessee are just some of the states with citizen patrols.

In St. Petersburg, Fla., a citizen patrol made up of 10 volunteers wrote $382,000 worth of tickets last year. That breaks down to 1,382 citations for disabled parking violations.

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