Local News

Durham Citizens Partner with Police in Courtesy Patrol

Posted July 5, 1998

— It's a police officers job to catch people breaking the law. Now, several private citizens are getting into the act with a new program called Citizen Courtesy Patrol.

Carl Wilson hung up his gun and his badge after 27 years as a policeman in Durham and Washington, D.C., but he missed the work, so he's now a coordinator for Durham's first squad of the Citizen Courtesy Patrol.

"They don't want us to get into any physical confrontations and for obvious reasons, we have no weapons," said Wilson. "We don't have the powers of arrest ... we're citizens, but we can see things and we can report things."

Durham police are so busy with violent crime, there's little time for them to write parking tickets. But the courtesy patrol can tap untapped ticket revenue. They're also there to assist people with directions and questions.

"I'm just out here to help right now citizens in any way possible," said Courtesy Patroler Antwan Wilson. "And enforce the law just a little bit. I've written a few [tickets], couple of violations in the handicapped."

Tiffany Bobbitt used to be in data entry. Now, she's ready to enter the names and license numbers of parking violators.

"I feel like it's been something that's been waited on for a long time," said Bobbitt. "It would be a good show of force if we can get people to park in designated spots."

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