The Accessible Parking Program assists in the endeavor to provide access to parking reserved for people with disabilities. Volunteers are utilized to identify violations pertaining to unlawfully parking within accessible parking areas, as well as those who unlawfully block access zones. It is with the volunteers that violators will be identified and violations of these laws will ultimately be enforced.
Description of the Program:
The volunteer program will be utilized for the identification of possible violations of the laws regarding parking within a designated accessible parking area, as well as access zone violations only. The program will also assist the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department (MABCD) in review of potential deviations from required parking lot configuration practices. The volunteer program will be supervised and managed by the Wichita Police Department. The volunteers shall report to, and be subject to direct supervision, by a law enforcement officer designated by the Chief of Police. The supervisor shall provide for initial training of the volunteers, continuing educational training of the volunteers, and monthly meetings with the volunteers, background checks on volunteer applicants, and screening of violations for issuance of citations. Parking lot configuration violations will be handled as directed by MABCD. The law enforcement supervisor, or others with authority to issue citations, shall review photos taken of alleged violations and shall cause citations to be issued in instances that support prosecutable violations. The law enforcement officer shall retain discretion over cases that should or should not be filed. The City of Wichita Department of Law retains prosecutorial discretion over all violations or alleged violations, during all stages of the process.
Description of Duty:
A volunteer patrols parking lots photographing violations of the accessible parking ordinances, within the City of Wichita. Volunteers may request citations for displaying an expired handicapped placard, unauthorized parking in an accessible parking space, parking in an access aisle, or blocking an accessible parking space. The volunteer will report to, and be supervised by a law enforcement officer designated by the Chief of Police. The volunteer will appear and testify in court when requested by the City of Wichita Department of Law. Volunteers must consider equity and justice when photographing possible violations. It is vital to this program that volunteers strive to promote accessible parking for people with disabilities, but just as importantly serve as ambassadors for the City of Wichita.
Minimum Requirements for Volunteer Applicant:
1. High School Graduation or GED.
2. Knowledge/skill in understanding and applying accessible-parking laws.
3. Effective communication skills.
4. Capability to identify a vehicle that is eligible to park in a designated parking space.
5. Ability to take photographs of violations.
6. Ability to handle situations of stress and/or confrontations by the public.
7. Ability to attend court hearings as required.
8. Must be at least 21 years of age.
9. Must hold a valid Class "C" Drivers License.
10. Must have transportation, and maintain at a minimum a continuous liability insurance policy as required by statute.
11. Must be able to provide fuel from transportation while working as a volunteer.
12. Must have a cell phone in possession while working as a volunteer.
13. Must have no prior convictions, and be able to pass a background investigation.
14. Must have no history of mental instability, anger management issues, or competency issues.
15. Must be able to write legibly.
16. No more than two moving violations convictions, diversions, or being at fault in more than one accident during the past twelve months.
17. No convictions, or diversions, of any felony or misdemeanor crime(s).
18. Ability to donate at least six hours per month to volunteer program.
Limitations of Volunteers:
1. No volunteer will be deemed a law enforcement officer, or have duties, responsibilities, or the authority of a law enforcement officer.
2. No volunteer will identify himself/herself as a law enforcement officer or hold himself or herself out as a law enforcement officer.
3. No volunteer will receive any compensation from the City of Wichita while in the capacity of an accessible parking enforcement volunteer, or will they be eligible for workers compensation.
4. No volunteer shall have the power or duty to enforce other traffic, criminal, or civil laws.
5. No volunteer shall possess or carry firearms or other weapons while working as a volunteer.
6. No volunteer will disobey an order from his or her law enforcement supervisor. The refusal to obey an order will be grounds for termination of the volunteer from the program.
7. No volunteer will attempt to contact those in violation of the accessible parking ordinances. A volunteer will avoid any contact with those who have committed a potential violation of the accessible parking ordinances. A volunteer will avoid confrontation during volunteer activates.
8. Volunteers will only work when authorized by the Wichita Police Department, and only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The police department will disregard any photographs taken outside the designated hours.
9. Being under the influence of alcohol by a volunteer while at work or while performing services on behalf of the City is prohibited. The possession or use of alcohol, while at work or while performing services on behalf of the City is prohibited. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal as a volunteer from the program.
10. The possession or use of alcohol, while at work or while performing services on behalf of the City is prohibited. An illicit drug is a controlled substance, as defined by the State of Kansas Uniform Controlled Substance Act, as it may be revised from time to time, which is used in some manner without a prescription or medical supervision. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal as a volunteer from the program.
11. A volunteer's use of, or being under the influence of, a legally obtained drug which may affect the safety of the employee, his or her co-workers, or members of the public, is prohibited. A volunteer or employee who has reason to believe that the use of a legal drug may present a safety risk to himself/herself or others would report that use to his/her supervisor to determine job related consequences. Faire to follow this policy will result in dismissal of the volunteer.
12. Being under the influence of an intoxicating substance by a volunteer while at work or while performing services on behalf of the City is prohibited. An intoxicating substance is any substance which produces changes in one's physical, mental, or emotional state or behavior, including, but not limited to glue, paint thinner, etc. Failure to follow this policy will result in dismissal of the volunteer from the program.
13. Any violation of these policies may result in the volunteer's dismissal from the program.
Recruitment of Volunteers:
The Wichita Police Department will be responsible for recruitment efforts aimed at those who desire to participate in the program. As part of the initial process, the following must be submitted:
· Copy of Valid Driver's License
· Verification for Status of Training
· No less than three references from other family members
· Proof of transportation and continuing insurance
The law enforcement supervisor will review the applications and complete a background investigation on each of the applicants, apparently qualified. Those successful applicants that have satisfactorily passed a background investigation will be subject to interview by a panel. The panel shall consist of a person from the City of Wichita Department of Law, the Wichita Police Department, and the Municipal Court. Those recommended by the interview panel, shall be assigned an initial training date. Volunteers will not be able to work until they have successfully completed the initial training course.
Failure to submit the required information, an unsatisfactory finding on a background investigation, or failure to meet the eligibility requirements, will result in the applicant being rejected for a volunteer position.
Failure to submit to or failing a drug/alcohol screen will result in the applicant being rejected for a volunteer position.
Volunteers will begin the selection process by completing and submitting an Accessible Parking volunteer application. Volunteers must also answer questions from an interview panel concerning volunteer qualifications.
After the initial questioning, the Wichita Police Department will select the most qualified volunteers as needed by the City of Wichita, conditional upon the satisfactory results from a criminal background check. The City will only consider volunteers who agree to the criminal and background checks and sign a waiver of release.
After volunteers complete the required paperwork, the City of Wichita will run a confidential background check. The City of Wichita will only check information that is vital to the performance as an Accessible Parking Volunteer.