Red from embarrassment!  I hope that’s the reaction in an East Lake Woodlands, Florida neighborhood where a Clearwater police officer is being told to remove her marked police cruiser from her driveway or face hundreds of dollars in fines.

Maybe, being a law enforcement officer myself, I’m biased.  But what homeowners wouldn’t want a police officer living in their neighborhood and especially one that has his or her vehicle in front of the home which lets the public know a law enforcement officer is nearby?

But then I was also baffled when a school principal asked a police officer not to bring his child to school in a police car while on his way to work, for fear it was startling parents and children.

Marked police vehicles are a safety net, much like the old block parent signs in neighborhood windows in the sixties.  A sign in the window meant it was safe to knock on that person’s door for help if needed.  It was designated a safe place.

Communities put up neighborhood watch signs to increase safety in their neighborhoods.  Doesn’t a marked police cruiser do the same thing?  Actually, raises the bar that much more!

I would think the homeowners’ association asking the Clearwater police officer to remove her vehicle from her driveway – might actually think about paying her to park it there.

Police officers are public safety professionals 24/7 and can respond to problems in their neighborhood when they arise.  Just the mere presence of them or their vehicles detours criminal behavior.  These public servants should not be harassed by their homeowners’ association, they should be honored as the heroes that they are.  They have chosen to put the safety of others before their own, they respond to calls for help, they watch over us, they remove drunk drivers from the streets, they arrest those who threaten to harm us.  The list goes on.

A marked police vehicle parked in a driveway isn’t an eyesore, it isn’t hurting anyone.   I can tell you this, if there’s a need for law enforcement in their neighborhood, those who called for help are going to hope there’s a cop car in their driveway…and fast.