Volunteers needed to monitor handicap parking stalls

Wichita police are looking for volunteers to watch for people who park illegally in handicap parking stalls around the city.

The volunteers patrol parking lots photographing violators. A police official then determines whether violators will be cited.

"Those who volunteer for this project are performing an important civic duty," said Lt. Darras Delamaide, the program's supervisor. "It's an important job and one that can be very rewarding."

Although police officers watch for vehicles parked in those spaces illegally, Delamaide said, that's a low priority compared with more serious offenses.

That's where the volunteer program steps in. The program has been in operation for several years, he said, and anecdotal evidence suggests handicapped drivers are thrilled to see the effort to protect parking access.

But the program needs five or 10 new volunteers a year because of normal turnover.

Volunteers must pass a background check, be at least 21, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver's license and provide their own vehicle and fuel.

More information and a downloadable application are available at www.wichitapolice.com. Click on the link to crime prevention and then the accessible parking program.

Potential volunteers can also call 316-268-4101.