By Chadwick Dolgos
If your vehicle happens to be out of inspection and you live in Stowe Township, you better move it off of public streets or the police will be doing it for you.
Police are doing more than cracking down on abandoned vehicles, they also are tagging illegally parked vehicles and increasing enforcement of recently adopted laws prohibiting panhandling and soliciting.
Commissioner’s President Robin Parrilla claims to be the impetus behind the uptick in Stowe Township police department reports of abandoned vehicle ordinance violations in its submissions to Gazette 2.0’s “Police Reports.”
Between Jan. 5 and Feb. 2, four citations were issued to individuals in violation of an ordinance which requires vehicles past inspection date to vacate public parking on the township’s streets.
“I know we got rid of a lot of cars because we did it ourselves by calling the chief, sending the cops up, doing the paperwork and hooking them up with tows so they can move those vehicles out,” said Parrilla.
Both he and Vice President Darrell Chestnutt, who are both running for re-election this year, are members of the township’s police committee along with Kelly Cropper-Hall.
Parilla said he and Chestnutt make an effort to drive around daily looking for instances where the town’s ordinances are not being followed.
“Anywhere they’re parking, by fire hydrants, on yellow lines, they’re being tagged,” said Parrilla. “I know for a fact, because I’ve seen the tags written and put on the vehicles, and I also review some of the monthly data to see.”
Warnings are issued before ticketing occurs, said Parilla, who notes these warnings and citations are doing little to prevent people from breaking the law.
“I’m all about being fair with people, but if we give them a warning, and then they get a ticket, and then get another ticket, they’re pushing the envelope hard back at us, and that’s not going to happen,” he said.
Councilwoman Cheryl McDermott agrees that ordinance violation should be handled accordingly, but by the ordinance offer and the police department.
“We do pay the ordinance officer to be on top of these violations, and the police should be on top of vehicle violations,” she said.
“I feel it’s OK for us as commissioners to report a violation, but to let the authorities handle the situation professionally.”
Two new municipal parking lots were recently installed on Woodward and Russellwood avenues.
Plans are in the works to install a third lot on Race Street.