Goodlettsville officer disciplined for parking in handicap spot

Goodlettsville officer disciplined for parking in handicap spot (Image 1)

A Goodlettsville officer has been disciplined after he parked his police motorcycle in a handicap parking spot.

The infraction came to light after a disabled woman took a picture of the incident and reported it to the officer’s supervisors.

The infraction happened June 23 around lunchtime at a Conference Drive strip mall.

The picture clearly shows a Goodlettsville police motorcycle parked in a handicap spot outside a Quiznos restaurant.

The motorcycle belongs to Officer Chip Spencer, a Goodlettsville officer since 2000.

According to the Goodlettsville Web site, Officer Spencer is one of two motorcycle officers on the force.

The woman who took the picture is disabled with a spinal cord injury suffered in a car accident in 2005.

The 38-year-old woman took the photo of the motorcycle when she needed to park.

The woman, who uses a wheel chair, chose to remain anonymous as she described how she felt to News 2 on Wednesday.

“Disrespected, absolutely, and a sense of dishonor for the police department to have done that so blatantly in the open and did not care,” she explained.

News 2 reached out to the police department and spoke to Police Chief Gary Goodwin.

“I just want to apologize. I believe she is a handicapped person herself and I understand why this is so personal to her,” Chief Goodwin said.

He noted that Officer Spencer was disciplined with a written reprimand in his permanent file, according to departmental policy.

“We looked into the matter and the officer readily admitted his fault,” Chief Goodwin added.

The woman, however, thinks the department dragged its feet when she first reported the issue.

“I think he didn’t initially take responsibility. That’s what it comes down to,” she said.

Chief Goodwin said the officer even said he will write himself a ticket, go to clerk and pay for it.

“… We are embarrassed by it and we are doing everything we can to correct the situation,” Goodwin added.

He also said the officer indicated that he parked where he did because he was hot and not paying attention, merely wanted to run inside the restaurant and cool off.

The woman has yet to decide if she will file charges, in which case the officer could be subject to a $200 fine.

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