The Forest Park Police Department is looking for a few night owls.
For the past two weeks the village has been without any overnight parking enforcement officers whose job it is to write tickets to enforce the town’s ban on overnight parking. And according to Forest Park Police Lt. Michael Cody, who supervises the parking division, the job has traditionally been hard to fill.
“One of the problems we have is the hours,” Cody said. “It is a part-time job. There are no benefits with it. The hours are from midnight to six o’clock in the morning. It’s a big turnover. It’s always been like that. I’ve been in charge of parking for six years and that’s one of the hardest positions to fill.”
The last overnight PEO quit the post about two weeks ago, Cody said.
The village is looking to hire at least two people willing to scour the streets for vehicles in violation of the local ordinance. The job pays $13.35 an hour, according to the village clerk’s office.
The position is being advertised in local newspapers and was posted on the village’s website May 11.
Cody said the police department has received several applications for the job and hopes to make at least two hires by the end of June. Those chosen for the job are deemed as civilian employees of the police department.
“We are in the process of setting up a time and date for testing,” Cody said.
When fully staffed, the village has had four people on the graveyard shift as PEOs, with two people working at a time. The work schedule was four nights on and four nights off.
Parking on village streets is prohibited from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. unless a resident calls and gets permission to park on the street, which they can do five times in a 30 day period.
The village does have one PEO working the day shift to monitor parking meters and village parking lots, according to Village Administrator Michael Sturino. Another daytime PEO is on leave, Sturino said.
The village has typically employed two other ticket scribes to work the 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift to monitor village lots and meters in the evening, but those positions are also currently vacant, Cody said.
In the absence of any parking enforcement officers working the night shift, Forest Park patrol units are being asked to issue citations.
Since the start of 2007, Forest Park has issued 4,663 citations to vehicle owners for violating the overnight ban. In 2006, 13,273 tickets were written.
Vanessa Moritz, the village clerk, said she’s certain that at least some enforcement efforts are being made, as she found out one morning last week. On Thursday, Moritz and her husband parked their cars on the street in front of their home where they were left overnight, she said. They awoke Friday morning to find a pair of tickets on their windshields.