Though the parking regulations in Stoughton haven’t changed in many years, the number of parking tickets has seen a sharp rise in the last year thanks to a part-time employee whose efficiency means the revenue she brings in nearly pays for her salary.
Brooke Schmidt is the department’s community service officer, a 10-hour per week position added in 2018 to address the community side of police officers’ duties they hadn’t had time for in addition to their enforcement responsibilities, police chief Greg Leck told the Hub.
The position has proven so successful, the department asked for Schmidt’s hours to be nearly doubled in 2019, and the increase is included in the preliminary budget. That budget includes 1,039 hours for the CSO with a salary of $21,404.
In addition to enforcing time-restricted parking spots, the CSO helps with shuttling vehicles around and extra paperwork, Leck said.
At an October budget meeting, the chief said he hasn’t heard much feedback about the increase in enforcement, but will occasionally get a note saying it’s “ridiculous” to have two-hour parking downtown. One worry was that it would scare off patrons of businesses, but Leck said a lot of the violations have been by employees of the businesses and not their customers.