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Rent-a-Cops Hired to Give Out Parking Tickets

Photo: eflon via Flickr
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In suburban Covina, the city has entered into a contract with a private security company to enforce parking restrictions. The city hopes that Inter-Con Security, that begins enforcement on January 5, will provide more frequent and consistent response "to parking complaints in a consistent and timely manner," the Pasadena Star News reported. Is this a good or bad thing?

On a positive note, this helps free up police from their normal crime patrol duties. The last thing a police officer needs to be doing is writing a ticket for parking half-way into a red zone because someone called in to complain.

Also, if someone is blocking your driveway and it needs to be towed and the Covina police are at a major crime scene such as the Santa Shooting, you may be SOL. A private firm who is dedicated to parking enforcement should be able to give quick service no matter how busy the police may be.

But to hire a private firm to be an enforcement wing can be dangerous. You can easily run into customer service and branding problems, abuse (not that cities can be blamed for their abusing parking ticket roles), a lack of civic pride and duty and less accountability if the city continually blames the company rather than take blame for hiring them.

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