Volunteer Parking Enforcement Unit

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

When it comes to tickets and citations you may assume police officers are the only ones handing them out. It turns out in the past 13 months, senior citizens have handed out over 2,000 citations throughout the city of Bowling Green.

These aren't your typical parking enforcement officers.

"You've got to be at least 55," volunteer Doug Graham said.

Graham is one of six volunteers that help out with the Bowling Green police department. He and the other volunteers hand out parking tickets.

"It sounded really interesting to me and I really enjoy working with the police in this parking enforcement," Graham said.

These volunteers primarily target handicap and fire lane violations which may not sound like they're giving out too many citations but in the last 13 months, that has amounted to over 2,000 parking citations and over 16,000 hours of volunteer time.

"It's doing something to benefit the people that really need the handicap spaces to make them more available for them," Graham said.

The volunteers are part of the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program and have been with the Bowling Green Police Department since December of 2005.

Chief Doug Hawkins was involved in developing the program and said having these volunteers is a big help to the department.

"We feel like its certainly been a win-win situation. A win for the city and a win for the police department because we see more enforcement but I think the volunteers also see it as a win because they feel like and very much are, contributing to the success of that program and making a difference in their community," Hawkins said.

Doug Graham has this advice for you for the next time you're looking for a place to park.

"Please don't be parking in the handicap space if you don't have a permit and no parking in the fire lanes," Graham said.

Graham also said his wife is also a volunteer for the program and sometimes they pair up together to hand out tickets.

A couple of the volunteers work full-time during the week at other jobs, besides being a volunteer.

They say they are hoping to recruit more volunteers in the future.


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