'Writing parking tickets isn’t the only thing that we do': Birmi - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL


'Writing parking tickets isn’t the only thing that we do': Birmingham parking enforcement officer says the job is misunderstood

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

In some ways, a parking enforcement officer’s job is similar to a letter carrier.

Both work through inclement weather, enduring temperatures at or near freezing, blistering summer days, and steady rainfalls. 

“That’s another misconception,” said Birmingham Parking Enforcement Officer Catherine Owens.  “The public thinks we don’t work in the rain. We actually do.”

With three years on the job, Owens says she loves serving the community but realizes the job is misunderstood. 

“Writing parking tickets isn’t the only thing that we do,” she said. 

Owens currently patrols the city’s south side, where she can write between 75 and 120 parking tickets per day.  

“The public thinks that we write the tickets because we got paid more money or the city makes more money but that’s not the case,” she explained.

Her job does not enforce quotas or minimum requirements.

More: On Your Side Investigation: Birmingham owed millions in unpaid parking tickets

Instead, Owens says her job is primarily about customer service, safety and economic development. Parking enforcement officers ensure a steady flow of traffic throughout the city’s congested streets and that parking spaces are regularly turning over for the benefit for businesses.    

And, parking enforcement officers are there to lend a helping hand when drivers need it most, explained Owens. When a car breaks down or a battery dies, when someone loses a car or when it’s been towed, Owens stands ready to assist.

Tourists needing directions or people requiring a little extra help reaching their final destination can also rely on Owens and her fellow officers. 

“Besides the parking ticket, anything that they need, if we can be of assistance to them, we will,” she said. 

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