AMARILLO, TX - For the volunteers of the Handicap Parking Enforcement Group, making sure handicap spaces are reserved for those who truly need them is their priority. But now this group that prides itself in helping others, needs a little help themselves.
Since their inception in 1995, they've issued close to 20,000 citations. However, they've seen a decline in people wanting to volunteer making it more difficult for them to patrol the city's parking lots.
At one point the group had 22 members but now they're down to eight.
Most of the members are retired senior citizens. Many have stopped volunteering because of medical conditions and a few members have passed away in recent years.
The volunteers not only free up police officers from this duty but also bring in more revenue to the city, with each citation set at $507.
Volunteers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver's license. They are then trained to recognize violations of the handicap parking laws and how to issue citations.
According to one volunteer, the city benefits from the Handicap Parking Enforcement Group and is hoping to see more support from the community.
"I think people would take advantage if they knew they could get by with it. People come all the away from across the street to come over and thank us, I'm sure they must have a handicap person in their family" said Roe Ann Hill, volunteer.