City Moves To Quash Beef Between Police, Parking Enforcement Aides
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 18, 2014 7:00PM
Photo credit: virtualphotographers
The office of Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson released its second quarter report earlier this week and, standing out like a sore thumb among the accounts of corruption and inefficiency within city government was the revelation of a long-simmering feud between Chicago Police and parking enforcement aides employed by the city Finance Department.
An investigation by Ferguson’s office involving an antagonistic, on-duty encounter between a police officer and parking enforcement aide revealed “the existence of more widespread discord between CPD and DOF,” according to the report.
In general, there is a perception of a rivalry between PEAs and police officers; a perception shared by both sides and supported by online commentary. PEAs believe that CPD police officers are unnecessarily targeting PEAs for abuse. That perception, whether exaggerated or real, resulted in DOF supervisors advising their subordinates to avoid police officers while onduty. PEAs asserted that CPD officers are adversarial to PEAs in certain or all districts. Police officers, for their part, felt that PEAs unnecessarily saturate areas with enforcement. In the case OIG investigated, there was a public screaming match between a PEA and an officer—two uniformed City employees—on a City street.
Ferguson suggested calling a “high-level meeting” between Finance Department and Police Department officials to "clarify respective roles, acknowledge their common mission, work together in mutual recognition of shared values" and avoid future conflicts. City officials said they’ve agreed to a plan that "strengthens their partnership and results in better service to the public." But both sides urged officers and aides to report future incidents to their supervisors.
There are over 1,300 parking enforcement aides employed by the city, most of them on a month-to-month basis