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9/6/2005
Wichita, Kansas Creates Vigilante Parking Ticket Force
Volunteer informants will photograph violations so that the Wichita, Kansas police can mail out $100 parking tickets.

Handicapped plate
Beginning in November, Wichita, Kansas will anyone to become a volunteer parking enforcer. Armed with a camera, informants will photograph violations and, like the new program in Malaysia, the Wichita Police Department will accept the photograph as sufficient evidence to mail out a ticket. Initially, the program will only target those who park in handicapped spots without a proper plate. The ticket is $100 plus court costs.

Like the volunteer program in Maricopa County, Arizona, Wichita promises special training and background checks to ensure the program is not abused. Despite the safeguards, several of the volunteers in Maricopa were later arrested for crimes such as theft, fraud, and child molestation.

The Wichita volunteers will not be paid and must provide their own equipment. The city implemented essentially the same program, called "Snap It," a decade ago provoking controversy because often those receiving tickets were in fact disabled and entitled to park in the spots.

Source: Park with care; you'll be watched (Wichita Eagle, 9/6/2005)



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