Police officers in Kodiak are no longer allowed to leave parking tickets on vehicle windshields.
A statewide law enforcement paperwork change that went into effect in April now requires Kodiak’s police officers to personally issue citations.
APRN reported that a bill carried through the legislature three years ago by Rep. Mike Hawker is responsible for the change. While similar versions of the rule have been on the books around Alaska since the 1980s, the bill standardized police paperwork and has left some cities scrambling to change codes.
Like Juneau and some of the other cities around the state, Kodiak is working to review city codes to see if it would be possible to make parking citations a civil fine that the city could handle administratively.
“Rather than go to the district court, the citations would be reviewed within the city and these new rules wouldn’t necessarily apply,” Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai said.
The Kodiak Police Department was aware the change was in the works, but didn’t have time to make any changes to local codes before it came into effect.
“We knew the change was forthcoming,” Kamai said. “We had hoped that we would have had the opportunity to move forward some revisions to our local code before the changes actually took place, but that wasn’t able to occur.”
Kodiak’s community services officer will still respond to parking complaints as they come in, and will still issue citations when needed. Under the new rule, the officer will have to stick around to personally hand over the citation.
Kamai said the community services officer will continue working with the public, as it already does, to solve some of the parking situations without issuing citations.
“We’re trying to be creative and resolve some of these situations short of issuing citations,” Kamai said. “We actually always have been doing that.”
One of the biggest parking issues in Kodiak is people parking in spots for longer than the posted allowable time. Other issues include parking in handicap spaces, near red curbs and taxi stands.
City attorney Thomas Klinkner is working on a code change that will be submitted to the city administration for review. If the city administration approves it, it will then move to the city council.
“What other communities that are faced with this issue are considering is a civil remedy for parking violations that is handled administratively rather than a criminal court process,” Klinkner said.
If Kodiak changes the code, a city staff member would most likely handle the violations rather than the courts, although someone who was unsatisfied with the administrative decision on a citation could then go to court with an appeal.
Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at email@example.com.