Edmonton

Police officer in parking spot for the disabled called out on social media

An Edmonton officer has been fined by the police department he works for - for parking his vehicle across two parking spots for the disabled while he ran into a Tim Hortons to grab a coffee.

Edmonton Police Service disappointed and surprised at officer's actions, gives him fine

The Edmonton police car was parked at 7451 Roper Rd. on Monday and shared on social media, landing the officer in trouble. (Shaun McLeod/Facebook)

An Edmonton officer whose vehicle took up two parking stalls, one clearly marked for people with disabilities, has been fined by the police department he works for — for parking illegally to run into a Tim Hortons to grab a coffee.

The fine was prompted by some intrepid users of social media.

On Monday, Shaun McLeod posted a picture on Facebook of the police car, which was parked diagonally across the two parking spots. On Tuesday, Leah McRorie saw McLeod's post and promptly retweeted the picture to the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

"It's about the safety of others," said McRorie, who uses parking stalls for the disabled when she's with her daughter, Tasia, 20, who uses a walker and a wheelchair.

McRorie said she often sees cars that shouldn't be parked in such specially designated spots.

"If people could just be more aware — just take the two seconds it's going to take you to pull into another stall," she said. "Really, it makes a difference in the lives of so many people here in Edmonton."

When EPS saw the tweet, the police department responded by thanking McRorie and said someone would investigate.

Hours later, police tweeted again, saying the officer who was driving the vehicle had been given a ticket.

Officer embarrassed, say police

"We regret this and we are truly sorry to the citizens of Edmonton. This does not meet our expectations," said Insp.Gary Godziuk.

"The police aren't above the citizens that we serve," adding that the 10-year-member with EPS will have to pay the ticket himself. 

The swift action was applauded by an advocate for the disabled, Zachary Weeks, who said he's pleased by the police response.

"I do feel it was a fair punishment," he said.

"I feel it will resonate not just for the Edmonton Police Service and the police officer involved, but for Edmontonians in general."

The officer pulled into the stall at 7451 Roper Rd. to run into Tim Hortons. He and his partner were on their way to drop off equipment for colleagues running the Alex Decouteau run.

McRorie said it's disappointing and a little shocking that those who enforce the law would break it, so blatantly.

Still, she thanked the police — the same way she shamed them, by taking to Twitter.

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