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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Southport’s police chief says there’s a reason one of his officers was parking in a handicapped spot at an apartment complex.

A viewer recently sent us a photo of the marked police cruiser parked in the space.

Chief Jerry Dove says the officer lives there and was having trouble finding a parking spot after his late-night shifts. Dove says management allowed the officer to park in the spot with plans to change the sign to read “Reserved for Officer,” but so far that change has not happened.

Dove says until the sign is switched, it is illegal to park in the space without a handicap placard.

Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    Since the space was empty it was ok to park there? No. The apartment complex doesn’t have the authority to give that permission and since he was parked there, if any handicapped visitors/residents came there, they could not park there because his patrol car was there. It doesn’t matter if the woman that took the picture lives there or is from the moon, he still broke the law. That is plain and simple. Have a child explain right and wrong to you.

  • Guest728484884

    If he had permission, it was night time, no one was parked there what is the big deal? He lives there so I’m sure he knows if there’s someone who’s handicap in his neighborhood. The woman who took the picture didn’t even live there so she’s taking up a parking spot that could have been his, she’s just a nosey woman who has nothing better to do then to get someone in trouble

  • pkrwood

    How about the fishermen, farmers, homebuilders and scores of other jobs that are statistically more dangerous than LEO. I have much respect for our officers and appreciate the job they do, but that is what they signed up for just like the fisherman, farmers, etc. Its cool to give the officer an assigned spot, but a handicapped spot is just that. The officer should be treated just like any other citizen.

  • guesty

    Take a breath, slow down and read all the words I posted. I said “…he should be punished because he was plain stupid for parking there…” I answered windy who came up with the brilliant observation of: “Had he simply looked to his immediate left, he would have seen that the (non-handicapped) parking space right next to him was available.” My response was: “Is it possible there was a vehicle parked there when the officer decided to park in the handicapped space?” to show that her comment of the empty parking space as insignificant.

    Please don’t make me have to explain simple concepts to you again Kris, you should be able to grasp them.

  • DL

    My point is: if you are so worried about breaking handicap parking laws then you should be just as concerned if he was on an emergency call! Of course it’s easier for you to remain dumb, calling people with FACTS dumb., than admit you don’t know what you’re talking about in the first place. However, I don’t speak unless I can back it up with facts. So stfu! Dummy!

  • Miss Kris

    You think he is the only one working the night shift? You think he is the only one having trouble finding a parking spot? That is a lame excuse!

  • DL

    No obviously he doesn’t have to pay someone to watch it while he sleeps. There are enough air headed, instigating, got nothing better to do people in Southport doing that free of charge!! And I am serious it is a requirement to have it in sight so you can check on it. Because of this “trouble making woman” who doesn’t even live there this good cop has potentially been put in danger. Is his life, dedication, hard work and desire to be the exact opposite of what you all portray him to be out of your ignorance worth it to you? He’s the most honest one I know of, he had permission and doesn’t deserve this. I’m sure he will be made an example of though just to shut you people up. Karma- wait for it- it’s coming!

  • Guest565656

    The only person ignorant is you! This officer was “off duty” and his timely response is not at issue here. He illegally parked and that is the bottom line. No one is challenging his “fineness” as an officer, but simply pointing out he is not above the law. That is all!

  • Angewidert

    Ridiculous. So does he pay someone else to watch it while he’s sleeping?

  • Guest485457

    Seriously, are you being sarcastic? Or is this a sincere comment?

    Either way I agree with you saying, “The ignorance of some people amazes me.”

  • DL

    The ignorance of some people amazes me. This officer is required to keep his eyes on his car. Since this apartment complex is inundated with people who don’t live there, have no business there, taking up the parking spaces, he occasionally has to park there. Otherwise he parks in the space behind it on the row next to the grass. He had permission from those that mattered and that doesn’t include you. If you people have so little to worry about consider maybe if he is called to come to your aid and the handicap spot would get him to you faster- maybe he should park a mile away in which time your pettiness will be dissolved by whatever karma comes your way. He is a fine officer, and this ridiculousness is not warranted in the least! Get a life!

  • Guest28461-1111

    First let me state that I have a handicap parent and SEVERAL friends returning home as wounded vets so I do understand the harsh feelings about the photo. As a long time resident and neighbor to the officer I must say I enjoy the sense of comfort it gives me to have him and his presence here! I also know this parking lot starts filling up shortly after 5pm as we all start coming home from our work days and this officer is just going on duty, as I pass him often. The women that started this with the photo, as she stated, is not a resident here and the “friend” she claims to help here does not live any where near the officer. Again I’m not saying the action was right, I’m just wondering if this women did in fact have harsh feeling towards this officer and used his bad judgment to try and get him in trouble. Might I also add that a large SUV parks in the handicap spot at an adjacent building EVERY night, the women drove right past it to take her picture so why has she not raised hell over that one as well? And one final thing, the handicap spot has not been removed and I would not care if they give a assigned spot to the officer, how many of us would leave our current jobs to put our lives in danger every time we clock in???

  • Guest1851658

    I am sure Windi just didn’t take time to think that one out…duh……..However on another note, ever consider how handicapped (everybody seems to have a placard these days) want everyone to treat them like everyone else with tender, loving political correctness, with no special treatment? BUT, park in one of THEIR spots, and they have to actually walk an extra 20 feet, they get their Depends in a wad. Maybe they should get a ticket for parking in non-handicapped spots.

  • Guest145878

    Okay so should I start submitting all of the pictures of teachers, lawyers, and all average joes that park in the fire lane at the store because they can’t walk the twenty feet from a parking space? yes, this was incredibly stupid of the officer to do considering that another LEO just got into trouble over this. Lacking common sense. But should we start painting everyone with the same brush for all professions? Go to the grocery store on a saturday and you will find at least one or two cars parked in a fire lane or handicapped spot that “just have to run in for a minute!”. So does this really constitute news or just another excuse to bash law enforcement (again). No, before someone comments I am not related to anyone in that field. Just making an observation. Oh let’s find something newsworthy like what Jenelle Evans brushed her teeth with. (sarcasm folks)

  • ChefnSurf

    He officially needed to end his shift and go into his apartment.

    His new spot will be right next to the new spots reserved for the late-night butcher, the baker and the candle maker. They too are having “trouble” finding a spot. Apparently they’re all “handicapped” when it comes to finding a parking spot.

    The old handicapped spot, for people who are actually handicapped, will be moved to the very back of the parking lot so that it will always be open and available.

  • Guest 10101

    Two stories on the same day of cops knowingly parking in handicapped spots. Both have an “excuse”.

    This story will have a “happy” ending. Apparently, the handicapped spot will just be given to the cop.

    There. All better!


    way to skirt the law…will the complex have the required number of handicap spaces after they give Deputy Dawg his assigned spot? Are they going to give everyone that works a late night shift a special spot? Another example of police corruption.

  • windy

    Interesting how this officer felt forced to park in the handicapped space because he could not find any other spot. Had he simply looked to his immediate left, he would have seen that the (non-handicapped) parking space right next to him was available. Or perhaps he was too lazy to do so, or was simply trying to come up with a reason for his illegal actions now that he has made the news.

  • Guest999

    If only people would get as fired up about govt spending waste as they do police cars in an unauthorized parking spaces we could make serious changes in this country.

  • Guest123123

    No different then the rest of us are you MR OFFICER

  • GuestMess

    So the complex would rather inconvenience a disabled person (resident or visitor) than allow the officer to park on the grass? While the photo is limited in relation to what the lot offers, it appears that there is little (if any) curbing to prevent parking on the grass. Doubtful that any able-bodied citizen would be able to use this excuse at the mall or grocery if parked in a handicap spot or the fire lane.

  • Eggbert Jones

    OMG! The Chief made this so much worse with his comment! So, are they going to give special parking to anyone who has to work the late shift, because there are lots of them.

  • alex

    i’m sure the cop will get a ticket for parking in the wrong place. after all that same cop would have given you or I a ticket. we will see just how much integrity is found in southport won’t we??

  • guesty

    I make no excuses for what the officer has done and think he should be punished because he was plain stupid for parking there but do you really think the space next to the handicapped space was empty at the time he parked? Is it possible there was a vehicle parked there when the officer decided to park in the handicapped space?

    The two of you need to use your heads for more than a space to keep a hat.

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