Citizens can issue parking tickets as volunteers for the San Antonio Police Department’s Public Safety Team

Volunteers issue parking tickets, put up flares for crashes, conduct speed limit checks in neighborhoods and assist in the Texas Cavalier Parade during Fiesta.

SAN ANTONIO — For the past 25 years, the San Antonio Police Department’s Public Safety Team has been writing tickets for those illegally parked in fire lanes or handicapped parking areas. 

“I had a handicapped daughter in a wheelchair for six and a half years,” said Jerry Cowan, a volunteer with the team. “A lot of times we took her out and we had a problem.”

Cowan and Don Carr have been volunteering since 1999, when the City of San Antonio passed an ordinance allowing citizens to write parking tickets for those illegally parked in handicapped spots. 

“We’re in our 80s,” Cowan said. “We’re trying to help those that need help with handicapped parking. They’ve got disabilities, we’re going to help them ease the disability somewhat.” 

SAPD is looking for additional volunteers for the Public Safety Team. 

“When I was on patrol there, we would get calls for somebody complaining about  handicapped parking or parking in the handicapped zone area,” said SAPD Officer Victor Trevino. “Well, we were taking calls that were maybe on the lower side of the totem pole. The PST program was able to assist in monitoring those hot areas that were maybe complained about the handicap violations taking place.” 

Anyone 18 years or older can apply. After training, SAPD explains, they require a minimum volunteer commitment of six to eight hours a week. 

“They’re dedicated to us, to help us out there when there is an area that needs some attention to be brought up,” Trevino said. 

From parking tickets, putting up flares after crashes and posting speed limit checks in neighborhoods to assisting in the Texas Cavalier Parade during Fiesta, Trevino says members of the PST are important. 

“I appreciate them very much,” he said. “I’m very thankful to be around these guys.”

To learn more about the program, or to apply to volunteer, click HERE

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