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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: No open handicapped parking?

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Each week, Herald reporter Charly Haley answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.

Q. In several parking lots around town, there is handicapped parking available, but sometimes people are taking those spots with no visible sign of a handicapped parking permit. I have artificial knees and need a place to park. How is the handicapped parking rule enforced?

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A. The Grand Forks Police Department enforces the city’s handicapped parking rule when violations are observed, said Lt. Dwight Love.

There are people who call 911 to request an officer to help with a handicapped parking violation, Love said. Officers respond and take the appropriate actions, which may include verifying that the handicapped parking spot is properly marked.

“Officers will usually not only issue a citation during this type of call for service but also will find the owner of the vehicle and educate them on the subject,” Love said.

The citation includes a $100 fine, according to Grand Forks City Code. Half of the money collected from those fines is appropriated to the mayor’s committee on employment of people with disabilities.

Owning a police scanner?

Q. Who can legally own a police scanner and what are the penalties if you have one and you’re not supposed to? And how can they find out if you have one?

A. Any citizen can own a radio frequency scanner that can pick up most police radio frequencies, Love said. A few departments utilize digital encryption technology to prevent some of their frequencies from being monitored.

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Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
(701) 780-1102
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