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Police Officers Not Immune To Parking Tickets

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DURHAM — Some Durham police officers are in troublefor where they parked their cruisers.

A police cruiser got a ticket Wednesday for sitting in ano-parking zone, even though part of the carwas legally in a loading zone.

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

When officers get tickets, they are affordedno special favors. They must pay the fine out oftheir own pocket.

"We have decided to enforce, and we'vedecided to step it up just to make sure we'rebeing seen doing the right things," says parkingenforcement officer C.E. Pettiford.

There is designated police parking near thecourthouse downtown, but finding an open space canbe a challenge.

"What happens is the officer gets called intocourt last minute and have to respondimmediately, and it is difficult to findparking," Sarvis says.

Issuing tickets to police agencies isnothing new, but the city stepped up enforcementafter some downtown business ownerscomplained.

"We want to make sure citizens see that we haveto follow the same guidelines that we askthem to follow," Pettiford says.

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

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