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Legally parking emergency vehicles

Gordon Graham talks about responsibly parking public safety vehicles outside of emergency calls and why firefighters should be aware of parking lawfully

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Today’s Tip is for everyone in public safety and it deals with how we park marked vehicles.

It seems you can’t go a day without reading in the news or social media about someone in law enforcement doing something wrong. Cell phone cameras make it easy to take a picture or obtain a video of everything.

We’ve talked a lot about how we drive, but how we park is also important. I’m not talking about parking at an emergency call with our overhead lights activated. I’m talking about stopping for a cup of coffee and parking in a no parking zone. Or parking the department motorcycle on the sidewalk in front of a store? These situations are easily caught on camera or video by the public. Frankly, it makes us all look bad. Much of the time, it’s also against the law.

We know that when we are in uniform and driving our patrol vehicles, people are watching us. We need to be role models. We should not act as if we are above the law and flaunt our authority or position. Stop and think. How do your actions reflect on you and your department?

Take a few extra seconds to park lawfully when you get that next cup of coffee. Be a good example. Don’t become the next online sensation showing public safety in a negative light.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off.

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Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.