8/24/2005Arizona Cities to Allow Volunteers to Issue Parking Tickets
Anyone can issue a parking ticket in Litchfield Park, Arizona by joining the posse.
The Arizona city of Litchfield Park is looking to join Avondale in allowing a "posse" to issue parking tickets to residents. The city council will consider an ordinance on September 7 to authorize non-police personnel to issue the citations. That means after some training, anyone who wants to issue parking tickets could do so, relieving the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department of much of the responsibility.
A city newsletter in May described posse members, who are not paid for their services: "They volunteer their time and purchase their own uniforms and personal equipment (including weapons). Soon they will be starting some fundraising activities to purchase necessary equipment from handheld radios to patrol vehicles."
Some wonder whether those who sign up for the posse do so merely to wear uniforms and a badge. In 1994, Sherriff's Department Lieutenant Roy Reyer wrote a memo questioning the posse program that was quoted in the Phoenix New Times. "During the bi-weekly posse orientation meetings, where over 80 citizens have come to sign up, you will meet several 'Rambos,' 'Otis' the town drunk, and a lot of washed out cop 'want-a-bes' whose only perception of police work comes from watching 'COPS,'" Reyer said.
Several posse members in the past have been arrested for crimes such as theft, fraud, and child molestation.