2001-12-08 / Letters

Ticket Happy Cop

Ticket Happy Cop

Dear Editor;

It is a shame that during such a time of hardship, when neighbors and
emergency personnel have worked so closely and supported each other so
wonderfully, that Officer Courtney of the 100th precinct should serve as a
nagging reminder of the pettiness and lack of compassion that survives
amongst us. 

I am a resident of Beach 124 Street, and at 9:15, Monday, November 12th I was attempting to get my 4 year old and 11 month old out the door to a doctor's appointment. We made it to the porch to greet the beginnings of a black cloud ascending, and our neighbors screaming in the streets. Many scores of people, including myself, ran towards the fires and into the darkness to find friends and relatives that were on the blocks surrounded by blazes. Many of us later supported the teams of the incredible emergency personnel with food, hot drinks, offered bathrooms, gloves, etc.

While left traumatized by this latest disaster, and fearful of its effect on my 4-year-old son, I feel a great pride in being a part of this wonderful community. Having lived through both the riots in L.A, and the Northridge Earthquake, I can easily say that the strength and compassion that is evident on every street of this small community is astounding to behold.

In the past two months I have seen this neighborhood suffer so many losses, and yet when faced with yet another tragedy, we only become more resilient, more determined and more compassionate. It was in this spirit that I placed a small memorial on Newport and 129th Street to honor the lives that were lost
aboard that doomed flight. It seems ironic that on the very day that
memorial was pictured in N.Y. Newsday, I should awaken to find that Officer Courtney had decided it was his duty, his right, to acknowledge the hardship faced by this community by leaving me a ticket on the windshield of my car as it was parked outside my home. Apparently, criminal of criminals, I had let my inspection sticker expire whopping 7 hours and 50 minutes prior to his
$55 summons. Never mind that a plane had crashed 6 blocks from my home less then 72 hours before; that my street, and most of our Peninsula, was closed to traffic some 56 hours ago, or that our local Texaco station was an unwilling home to a plane engine.

Let us also please ignore that the reason my car was even parked on the street last night was to leave our driveway spot open to my husband, who has been having severe trouble parking on the street when he returns home from work because of the MANY illegally parked press vehicles that have made parking here almost impossible. BRAVO Officer Courtney, for assuring me that although these trying times have brought out
the best of many of us, there are people like yourself, who can show little
compassion, and absolutely no regard for the suffering and strife of the
residents whose taxes support whatever it is that fuels your little scooter.

No doubt, in your role as glorified meter maid, it filled your narrow mind with glee to putter about our stricken streets and litter our windshields with summonses these past few days. You are a disgrace to this community, and an embarrassment to the precinct that has, through this tragedy, served us only with heroism, empathy and heartfelt concern.  Mr. Courtney, you should be ashamed of yourself. 

KAREN KELLY


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