Saturday, July 26, 2008

Inter-Con Under Fire in Pasadena

As in the case with the City of Pasadena, the City of Arcadia contracts with Inter-Con to provide our parking control services. The program was a started from the ground up, contract negotiations to implementation. The benefits to the City and our Department have been great in contrast to the difficulties either behind the scenes or in the area of citizen complaints.

According to the Pasadena Weekly, Inter-Con is under fire from some members of the Pasadena City Council for "overaggressive enforcement" and excessive errors in citations. Other concerns in the article refer to lack of training and high turn over.

Unlike Pasadena, APD employs four PERS for parking control services. Pasadena's program is much larger. Our PERS receive about two weeks training when they report for duty. We stress common sense and fairness to our new employees. The PERS are contract employees, however, we attempt to treat them as members of APD. Inter-Con has an internal structure for supervision and complaints, but the PERS report to and are supervised by APD personnel on a daily basis. They are held to standards similar to our Officers and are always reminded that they represent APD and the City of Arcadia.

The City has procedures in place that include Administrative Reviews, a Hearing Officer and ultimately a Court Appearance, should someone contest a parking citation. Many of the "complaints" that came in during the first year of implementation were due to citizens simply not being accustomed to regular parking enforcement in the City. Overall, our complaints and concerns regarding the program have been minimal.

We have found that through appropriate training and supervision, fair and reasonable compensation, and cooperation between APD, the City and Inter-Con, our program has been beneficial. Thanks to the FC Blog for leading us to the post. We will continue to watch how the contract services play with our neigbor.

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