A member of the Handicap Parking Patrol looks for violators.
Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says his Handicap Parking Patrol has generated nearly $5 million in revenue since it was formed 10 years ago.
Lott held a news conference Thursday to discuss the group's successes.
Formed in 2002, the patrol had an initial goal: stop people from parking in handicapped spaces. Lott says he'd seen the frustration handicapped people had when someone would park in one of those slots, making it difficult for them to live their lives and work.
"To them it's more than a convenience to be able to park in a handicap parking spot, Lott said. "They earned that privilege. They earned that right. It saves them a lot of trouble and a lot of effort, and when someone illegally parks in it, it causes problems for them."
The patrol is made up of three part-time employees and 25 trained citizen volunteers. Over the last decade, they've found 4,200 violators.
In 2004, Lott expanded the group's role to catch people with expired tags. Since then, they've identified 34,647 cases.
The effort has helped financially, generating $47,779 in handicap parking fines and $4,895,158 in expired tag revenue.
The group is looking for volunteers. Anyone who wants to be a part of the patrol should call Sergeant Berry Brown at 803.576.3183.