2/27/2006Buffalo, New York: Zero Tolerance Does Not Apply to Police
Despite a zero tolerance policy for everyone else, no parking tickets are issued near the Buffalo, New York police headquarters.
A zero-tolerance policy that has quadrupled the number of parking tickets in Buffalo, New York applies only to residents, not police officers. Tickets are being written at a rapid pace capitalizing on confusing and contradictory signs. This year, police have issued 11,000 parking tickets compared to just 2472 during the same period last year. The ticket frenzy is part of a union dispute over the police contract.
A Buffalo News investigation discovered the area surrounding the police headquarters was, in effect, a free parking zone. At least 29 cars parked illegally without consequence near the headquarters over the course of three days. The clear violations including parking next to a fire hydrant and double-parking.
Kristina L. Mack, 55, confronted one illegally parked officer after she had received a parking ticket and asked why he did not get one. "Luck of the draw, lady," he replied. Buffalo police union President Robert Meegan explained that a $30 ticket is a hardship for a rookie cop who only makes $30,000 a year.