Monday, January 05, 2009

Parker Lewis Can't Lose

While I was out walking the neighbourhood (having put something in the mail once again), I saw a parking enforcement officer stop to ticket some rebellious parker (not to be confused with a nosey parker).

Now, to indulge in a little tangent, I wonder how it feels to be a parking enforcement officer. I'm not intending to be insulting, but in the grand scheme of municipal policing, I'm sure that not many kids grow up thinking, "Man! I wanna be a parking enforcement officer!" Do the other officers (such as those who are members of the police force) look down their proverbial noses at the parking enforcement officers? And if so, is that really fair? I mean, is sitting by the side of the highway with a radar gun for a speed trap particularly what police officers envisioned their jobs to be?

Which leads to tangent number two. (A tangent from a tangent is a what? Mathematical types? Anyone?) I have a theory that there's a problem with what the job of policing has become. Although I am well-aware that the police do more than sit in speed traps to catch speeders, my concern is that this has become the "public face" of police officers and their work. What happened to those days, not that long ago since I remember them, when police officers were to be found in our neighbourhoods and communities, interacting with citizens on a one-to-one basis, engaging in casual "we're here for you" types of dialogue? If there was more of that going on, maybe (a) there would be a renewed trust in our police forces, and (b) there would be a return to the concept of "the police officer is your friend" rather than "the police officer is out to catch you speeding".

But I digress. And digress.

The whole noteable thing about Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer is that he stopped on the side of the street, got out of his car, and walked back the half-block to give the offending vehicle on a side street its ticket. Wait. Let me rephrase that. He parked on the side of the busy main street, in a no-parking zone -- engine off, headlights off, no hazard lights blinking -- and walked the half-block to give the offending vehicle on a side street a ticket.

I was tempted to say, "I'm glad you're ticketing parking violations. You should probably give that guy one, too. Pardon? Oh. That's your car? How silly of me."

1 comment:

Sonya said...

Ah but you see, he may be the bottom of the police force totem pole, but he still sees himself as well above us lowly citizens.