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Driver Beware: City Wants To Hire More Parking Cops To Write Ticket$

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A lot of the news that's coming out of City Hall these days is about cuts, deficits and more cuts. But the mayor believes that beefing up one department—the Los Angeles Department of Transportation—could help to prop up services in the rest of the city.

First came the news that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to raise parking fines and now he has proposed hiring more parking cops, according to The Daily News. The more cops that are out there catching you when you're parking meter is expired or when you're parked on the wrong side on street-cleaning days, the more money the city gets. City officials estimate that it could get $4 million in ticket fines by next year if it adds 50 part-timers to the 100 part-timers that were hired last year.

The neighborhoods that would see more new officers would include high-density areas, like North Hollywood, downtown and Hollywood.

This would reverse a trend of declining numbers of citations, The Daily News says. In 2003, 3.2 million were given out compared to 2.5 million last year. (In the meantime, the city got better about collecting fines and jacked up rates.)

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Villaraigosa's spokesman Peter Sanders told the Daily News that this plan is necessary so "vital city services can be preserved."

Businesses in high-traffic areas like making sure there's high-turnover in parking spots, so that they have a constant stream of new customers who can find a space. But the grown men and women who would get down on their knees and beg the parking cop to forgive their parking sins (most of us, right?) will probably hate this plan.

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