Wisconsin Police Officer Sparks Controversy After Parking In Handicapped Spot On Veteran's Day (Photo)

| by Reve Fisher
police officer's car parked in Handicapped Parking Spot.police officer's car parked in Handicapped Parking Spot.

A Wisconsin police officer gave himself a fine when he left his car in an area meant for disabled drivers.

On Veteran's Day, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke left his squad car in an accessible spot for people with disabilities at the Milwaukee War Memorial, TMJ 4 reports. In a press statement, Clarke wrote that he directed a police captain to properly park his car, but that command was reportedly never followed.

"When I came out of the Veterans Day event and noticed the vehicle still there and found out that my order was not followed, I ordered a county citation be written on the vehicle. Citation # 755472," Clarke wrote in the statement.

Clarke also ordered an internal investigation to determine why his order was not carried out.

(Squad car parked in handicapped space. Photo Credit: TMJ 4)

"I'm at least happy that he is taking the measures to fix his mistakes," Michael Nowakowski, a relative of a veteran, told TMJ 4.

Other attendees of the memorial service said there was no excuse for the sheriff's behavior, as a police car should not be parked in a handicapped zone out of convenience.

"He should know better, regardless," one woman, who was not identified, added. "I mean, this is Veteran's Day."

"I mean, you're just using it because it's convenient for you," William Goralski, a veteran of the Vietnam War, said. "Wrong. Dead wrong."

In addition to the $35 fine, Clarke decided to donate to an organization as well, which brought the total to $235.

"I paid the fine of $35 and since the city parking fine exceeded that [$200] I made a personal donation to an organization that works with the disabled," Clarke wrote in the statement. "That $235 total exceeds the city parking violation. I would rather the money go to a private org working with the disabled than to government. I have copies of all receipts."

"Why doesn't he go help the paralyzed veterans?" Goralski asked of the officer's donation. "These guys are in wheelchairs. That would be a good idea."

Although Clarke decided to take action against himself and the aforementioned captain, he knows the fault lies with him.

"The rules are the same for my squad as any car [...]," Clarke said. "[Parking in a handicapped area] is inexcusable."

Sources: Statement by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, TMJ 4 / Photo credit: NBC 5, SmartSign/Flickr