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Nonprofit volunteers to enforce parking ordinance in downtown Parker

Posted: 6:40 AM, Jan 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-24 08:40:22-05
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PARKER, Colo. – The Parker Police Department and the town council are working on a plan to crack down on parking violators downtown, and they are turning to volunteers for help.

Parker Police Sgt. Chris Kozuch said the town council is making a move to enforce the two-hour parking limit ordinance after receiving complaints from residents and business owners.

The downtown area offers two-hour parking from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., but Kozuch said drivers are overstaying their limit.

"As Parker gets bigger and as we have more citizens and more traffic on the road, we want to make sure everybody gets to enjoy downtown and has a place to park," he said.

He said they don't have the manpower to enforce the ordinance actively, so they're turning to the nonprofit Citizens Offering Parker Police Support (C.O.P.P.S.). Volunteers in the organization go through a 12-week training program offered by Parker police.

Dale DeBerry joined C.O.P.P.S. in 2018 and plans to be a parking monitor once police and the town council can nail down a plan.

"We will be monitoring how long people are parked out here on the street," DeBerry said.

Volunteers will not have the authority to fine violators but will call an officer who can hand out a warning or a $25 parking fine. Kozuch said the department is aware this kind of reporting may cause some tension in the community and said they will ensure the safety of parking monitors.

Laura Rohling owns a boutique on Main Street and fears the parking enforcement may deter customers.

"I think that will hurt our business more than anything," Rohling.

Anthony Rivera has lived in the area for more than 20 years and said people need to obey the rules.

"Two hours is more than enough for people to enjoy something and move on. To stay all day — kinda selfish," he said.

Kozuch said they are just in the beginning phase of the process to enforce the ordinance. He said he hopes people will comply, so they don't have to ticket people.