Local News

Police Officers Not Immune To Parking Tickets

Posted April 11, 2001 9:03 a.m. EDT

— Some Durham police officers are in trouble for where they parked their cruisers.

A police cruiser got a ticket Wednesday for sitting in a no-parking zone, even though part of the car was legally in a loading zone.

"We feel our police officers are held accountable just like any other member of the public, so occasionally we do have to write parking citations to police cars," says Lt. Ed Sarvis of the Durham Police Department.

When officers get tickets, they are afforded no special favors. They must pay the fine out of their own pocket.

"We have decided to enforce, and we've decided to step it up just to make sure we're being seen doing the right things," says parking enforcement officer C.E. Pettiford.

There is designated police parking near the courthouse downtown, but finding an open space can be a challenge.

"What happens is the officer gets called into court last minute and have to respond immediately, and it is difficult to find parking," Sarvis says.

Issuing tickets to police agencies is nothing new, but the city stepped up enforcement after some downtown business owners complained.

"We want to make sure citizens see that we have to follow the same guidelines that we ask them to follow," Pettiford says.

City officials are listening to business owners' requests of having more downtown parking. Crews are restriping some roads, adding over 50 spots.