Excuses for police cars parked in no-parking zones don’t add up: Readers
The paddy wagon is loaded with skepticism when it comes to reasons why police vehicles occupy no-parking zones.
Our Monday column was about police cars that are often parked in a no-parking zone on Duplex Ave., beside the 53 Division police station.
Police told us that 53 Division has outgrown its parking area, which leaves officers with no choice but to park on the street, and that civilian vehicles belonging to officers are ticketed, if they are in the no-parking zone.
Readers aren’t buying it, based on comments attached to the online column and the complaints form that the Star provides for readers.
Dennis Bryant says police vehicles are a fixture in a no-parking zone outside the harbour police station on Queen’s Quay, and even sent a photo of cop cars parked in the area.
“The emergency excuse doesn’t wash in front of the fire hydrant,” said Bryant. “Sometimes it is the same vehicle sitting there for days.”
To be fair, we looked closely at his photo and spotted yellow “police vehicles only” signs along side the no-parking signs, meaning the cop cars are in fact parked legally.
But he makes a good point when he notes that certain private vehicles parked in the same spots are never ticketed, which he believes are owned by police officers.
A comment posted to our online column by a reader says “I’ve often been tempted to start a Facebook group to post pictures of cop cars parked on the sidewalk in front of our local Starbucks.”
He says he once sat in Starbucks for 40 minutes while officers who parked two police vehicles on the sidewalk sipped coffee at a nearby table.
Another post said “I see cops parking illegally to eat or shop, with impunity. Last week it was a cop buying bread in a shop on Logan at Queen.
“I was wearing a black T-shirt and had a backpack on and I was afraid of being beaten up if I said anything.”
While legitimate police business or a jam-packed parking lot at a police station are reason enough for police to park in no-parking areas, it seems the public often observes situations where that is not the case.
It contributes to a perception that parking rules apply to the public, but not police, and that they are a nuisance to be ignored.
After all, who’s going to give them a ticket?