According to the local press, the folks who enforce parking rules in this upstate New York city have been writing citations on police officer’s private vehicles that are parked illegally near the police station. In retaliation, the police are writing tickets to the enforcement officers, now get this, for not buckling their seat belts when they drive their enforcement vehicles. As we all know – parking enforcement cops often drive those little glorified golf carts and have to get in and out of them every few feet to perform their duties. Naturally they don’t click their belts every time they get in. It’s a “gotcha” moment.
The city issued a memo to the police stating that the enforcement vehicles were “emergency” vehicles and therefore didn’t fall under the state rules for seat belts. Not so, it seems – the state rules don’t specifically include Parking Enforcement Vehicles.
Correspondent Mark says that this story is “just too funny. Ridiculous and sad, but still funny. I have all these images in my mind of Parking Enforcement and Police lying in wait and jumping out in an ambush style attack.”
We have seen this problem in many cities, where one part of the local government (Mayor, city council, police, teachers,) see themselves as above the rules when parking is concerned. It got so bad in New York City that the “special” permits that allowed people to park virtually anywhere had to all be recalled and new ones issued. It seemed that there were more permits issued than there were parking spaces in the city.
I see this as a “broken window” issue. If you fix the broken windows in a neighborhood, the chances are that the incidence of graffiti will be less, and then when people begin to take pride in their neighborhoods, petty crime will drop, and as petty crime drops, so also does major crime. If government officials don’t feel that they need to follow the “unimportant” parking rules, then what is next? Will they start looking the other way on zoning violations, or building codes, or kickbacks? Hmmmmmm