In the city of Plainview, there is a new force to reckon with. They may be volunteers, but Bettye Quisenberry and Vonceil Casey have every authority to write and issue illegal handicap parking citations to any outlaw they see fit. Casey says, "I do it because it's the law, just like buckling up, speeding, anything, and it angers me to see people abuse it." Quisenberry says, "I'd tell them walking is good for them, so if they're not handicapped, don't park in handicapped zones."
The ladies, along with six other volunteers, comprise Plainview's Handicap Parking Enforcement Team. On behalf of the Plainview Police Department, they are authorized to issue handicap parking citations. Chief William Mull explains, "They're covered by state law and our city codes cover them and they go through a four hour training school we put on and the training school teaches them the different type of violations and how to handle situations."
Whether parking in the Wal-Mart parking lot or the hospital or anywhere in between, Bettye and Vonceil have made it their mission to give out as many citations as possible. Vonceil says, "We are watching. We're the eyes." Bettye says, "I have a 6-year-old great grandson that thinks it's great. At Christmas he told everybody "Mom Bettye" has tickets and she'll give you a ticket if you park in the wrong place."
Of course, Bettye and Vonceil's goal is to discourage violators, but as long as drivers abuse handicap spots, they'll continue to lay down the law.
If you're wondering when Lubbock might get their Bettye and Vonceil, Chief Claude Jones says they already have two parking enforcement officers that are doing a fine job of catching violators.