By Trey Rusk
How do you spell idiot in Clearwater, Florida? HOA.
An HOA in Clearwater Florida has sent notice to police officers not to park their marked vehicles in their driveways. It seems that an HOA official has deemed them commercial vehicles and as such a violation of HOA rules.
I have parked marked and unmarked police vehicles in my driveway for forty years. My neighbors likes it and told me so. My next door neighbor is also a cop and still parks a marked vehicle in his driveway. I like it.
I can't prove it, but I believe that the marked police vehicles deter criminals from selecting the surrounding homes for criminal acts. I cannot recall a burglary ever being committed on my street.
A couple of the reasons police officers are given take home rides is to keep a visible presence of police in the neighborhoods and to cut down on response times.
The Chief of Police in Clearwater has backed his officers and believes the HOA should at least grandfather the LE residents before enforcing the rule. The officers have lived there for some time and in the past have sent their families away while they assisted residents with storm preparedness and evacuations.
In 2005, the Florida Attorney General ruled that government vehicles are not considered to be commercial vehicles. The HOA does not agree.
The police chief told ABC News that they planned to talk to local and state lawmakers to demand they pass a law prohibiting HOAs from going after first responder vehicles parked in driveways.
Folks, we aren't talking about a dump truck or street sweeper. In fact, if these vehicles were not marked they would appear to be privately owned SUV's.
Sounds to me like a member of the HOA may have received a ticket.
That's the way I see it.