A pilot program launching Monday is aimed at freeing up Minneapolis police by using civilian city employees to enforce parking violations overnight.
Parking control officers have traditionally enforced parking regulations during daylight hours and then handed duties off to the Minneapolis police for the night.
Saray Garnett-Hochuli, interim director for regulatory services, said complaints about parking violations during these hours often went unaddressed because they were a low priority for police.
"Our hopes are that we’re successful and that we can alleviate these calls for [the Minneapolis Police Department] so they can focus on the work they should be doing,” Garnett-Hochuli said.
The city will add three parking enforcement officers and one supervisor who will cover the shift from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. every night. Garnett-Hochuli said the enforcement employees will mostly respond to 311 or 911 calls.
The employees don’t enforce moving violations but will respond to calls like “if somebody is illegally parked in my driveway and I can’t get out, or things of that nature, where someone is actually calling in for a complaint rather than going out and trolling parking meters,” she said.
The pilot starts on Monday night. City staff will report on the pilot's results to the Minneapolis City Council in November, along with other pilot projects aimed at developing alternatives to police responses.
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