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For City of Jacksonville parking attendants, verbal abuse is part of the job

10:31 PM, Oct 29, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News investigated a job where some local employees seem to be taking some on-the-clock abuse.

Remember the video of the kids in New York who taunted the school bus monitor this summer?  
We found some people on the First Coast doing some taunting of their own ... because of a parking ticket. And they recorded the whole thing.  
Jeff Marcu breaks down the video, and why it's all perfectly legal.

"This (expletive) guy right here. Why don't you go two blocks down and start writing (expletive) tickets."

A group of men, quite angry a parking meter attendant is about to write them a ticket in downtown Jacksonville.

"(Expletive) you, (Expletive) you, (Expletive) you. Go down to the hood and start writing tickets. See how long you last down there with your (expletive)."

Through this abuse, the attendant stays calm.

"It was expired when I walked up sir. You wouldn't allow me to look at your license plate."

"You are fully able to insult parking enforcement specialists until your heart's content," said Jack Shad, the man in charge of the city's parking enforcement program.

Shad had already seen this video ... so outrageous someone had already shown it to him.

"Go ahead, hate your life, hate your life."

He said while this is an extreme case ...

"You're so (expletive) enthused about writing out tickets, write out a ticket."

 ... it's certainly not isolated.

"This is pretty typical of what we see, what my enforcement guys see pretty often as they're going about their job," Shad said.

His ten attendants, who make an average salary of around $27,000 per year, write about 50,000 tickets annually. Next year that will generate around $1.6 million for the City. Money that goes to disabled services, the general fund and it pays for the parking enforcement program.

Shad tells us his attendants go through training on how to handle these types of encounters, and he said for this city worker, that training paid off.

"I was very proud of how my enforcement specialist handled that situation," Shad said.

We hit the streets, showing this video, asking what you thought.

"It was great that he didn't argue or fight with him. Yeah, he handled it professionally and kept doing his job and walking away."

"That's a little over the top. That's totally unnecessary to abuse this guy like that."

Shad said he does not know of any cases where police have arrested someone for verbally attacking an attendant.

"If anyone was to physically attack one of our officers, we would prosecute to the fullest extent of the law," Shad said.

He said if you believe someone gave you a ticket in error, there are better ways to resolve your dispute.

"It's your legal right to file an appeal and have your case heard in traffic court. We can also void tickets in case of officer error."

"See you in court, (expletive)."

We found one of the men in this video. We did not want to get aggressive with him, but we were able to ask him this.

"Do you feel you treated that man with respect?"

First Coast News

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