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From the Desk of Chief Dawson

In 2011 it was reported that 2,890,700 Arkansans reported having a disability. I researched several facts about persons with disabilities last week after our office received a complaint. The complainant called about young men parking in a handicap spot that didn’t appear to be handicapped. Now I can openly admit that our office let this complainant down and did not handle the call like we should have. We did not respond correctly and I have apologized to this particular citizen for letting him down. This issue was addressed with those involved in making the decision that day and will also be addressed with the rest of the department to ensure this does not happen again. Whether it is a military veteran whose battered legs can no longer support his body, or an elderly citizen whose aging legs no longer allow them to walk as they once did, we must respect the parking spaces provided to them and not park in them unless handicapped. Our department does routine patrols of parking lots and I have instructed them to pay particular attention to those parked in handicap spaces. Arkansas state statute for enforcement of disability provided parking spaces reads as follows:

27-15-306. Enforcement.

(a) Any law enforcement official in this state may enter upon any public parking space, public parking lot, or public parking facility in this state for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this subchapter with respect to accessible parking for a person with a disability.

(b) Any law enforcement officer in this state may enter upon the parking space, parking lot, or parking facility of any private agency in this state for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this subchapter with respect to accessible parking for a person with a disability.

We ask you to respect the blue spaces and leave them for those who truly need them. If you witness anyone not displaying a placard or a disabled tag, please feel free to contact our office at (479)996-4119. Thank you and have a great week Greenwood!

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