So this morning, a couple of us are in a local 7-11 for coffee. Besides us, there are a couple of cars each from two other departments. in fact, the parking lot on the side of the building is almost all police cars, as are the spots out by the curb, in front of the building but out along the street. The only spots open are the slots directly in front of the store, which we typically leave for the regular customers who might actually want to run in, buy stuff and leave.
So we're all sitting around, drinking coffee and talking about the night's business, when I happen to glance up and see that there's a vehicle parked in the handicapped spot out in front of the store. A quick look around shows me no one who appears handicapped, just a bunch of hispanic laborers (note to self: start inviting ICE guys to these coffees) and a large guy buying a pair of hot dogs at 5AM. (Ugh!) I wander outside and notice that in addition to having an expired inspection sticker from the neighboring state, the Cadillac SUV in the handicapped spot bears no placard or special DMV tags. I sigh, wander over to my cruiser, get my ticket book out, and start to write. This sort of thing is one of my serious pet peeves, for reasons that people who know me understand all too well.
A moment later, hot dog guy comes out and sees me scratching him the ticket. Of course he begs for a break, claiming that he didn't know, despite the big blue and white sign right above the parking lot just above eye level. Unfortunately for him, it's me writing the cite, and I don't cut slack on handicapped violators. I point out that there were and still are several other vacant slots that are not handicapped and which are still closer to the door than my car, and then I point out all of the police cars in the lot and ask him what he was thinking. Hell, doing this blatantly in front of us all is almost as disrespectful to us as it is to the actual disabled people who need those spots. He shrugs and laughs and says "Yeah, ok...you got me," in a manner that suggests that he still doesn't take it that seriously. But his good nature changed when he looked at the fine amount line: "Two hundred and fifty dollars?! Come on, man! That ain't right!"
No, parking in the one space reserved for the disabled isn't right, and doing it with six police cars in the parking lot is just ignorant. Hope he enjoyed the hot dogs. I figure they cost him $125.00 each. Dumbass.
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