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Wichita police seek volunteers to monitor handicapped parking spots

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, at 6:07 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, at 6:36 p.m.

If you were, say, a hall monitor in elementary school, this volunteer opportunity might be for you.

The Wichita Police Department is looking for volunteers for its accessible-parking enforcement program. Does it bug you when you see someone illegally parking in a spot reserved for the handicapped?

Volunteers take pictures of drivers and file a report with the police department, which issues a ticket if warranted.

Since the program started in 2004 — as the result of a lawsuit against the city by people with disabilities — “detective” work by volunteers has resulted in 3,677 citations, Lt. Doug Nolte said.

“It’s been very effective to increase the number of people out there watching,” Nolte said. “We’ve seen it as a great success.”

To be a volunteer, you have to be at least 21, have a driver’s license and pass a background check.

And the right attitude is a must.

“You have to have someone that’s pretty confident in their abilities but not confrontational,” Nolte said.

If interested, apply through March 13 in person at the warrant office on the fifth floor of City Hall, 455 N. Main or by mail: Warrant Office, Fifth Floor, City Hall, 455 N. Main, Wichita, 67202. More information and an application form are available online at http://www.wichita.gov/CityOffices/Police/. Click on the “WPD Accessible Parking Program Information” link.

A three-hour training session will take place in late March.

If you have questions about this story, call 316-268-6400 or e-mail dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. If you want to volunteer for the program, contact the police department at 316-268-4231.

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