Police criticize parking agent who blocked fire hydrant
Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 10:40PM EST
MONTREAL—Parking downtown is a challenge. Illegally parked cars are everywhere. A commercial vehicle's hazard lights scream, “I’ll only be a minute.” There's stopping in no stopping zones.
On Monday night, a parking enforcement officer joined Montreal’s illegal parking ballet when he parked his bright red city vehicle in front of a fire hydrant while running into a restaurant.
Rick Cognyl-Fournier was driving by and recorded the infraction on his cellphone. He had just received a ticket he's decided to contest.
“When I saw him park in front of the hydrant it was in my opinion an abuse of the law. It made me feel angry because they give tickets but there's no one out there to ticket him,” said Cognyl-Fournier, a computer specialist.
Following the agent inside with his cellphone, the officer is heard explaining he's allowed to take a break and sometimes doesn't have time to look for parking. It's not a problem, he says.
The director of road safety and traffic for the Montreal police disagrees.
“The initial reaction is, obviously, it's something that we do not endorse,” said Andre Durocher, from the Montreal police. “When they are doing their job, they can double park, but that's as they're performing their duties. But to get a lunch they have to park legally just like anybody else.”
On Thursday, Montreal drivers were also not impressed.
“I would tell you that what I've seen on the video, it seems like something very good to use as what not to do and how you must not respond to citizens,” said Durocher.
The union representing the parking agent wouldn't comment but Montreal police said the agent will be met by his superior and human resources to evaluate what kinds of corrective measures need to be taken.