Boston, Massachusetts: A parking enforcement worker in Boston is currently recovering after being brutally attacked when he ticketed an illegally parked car in Dorchester. The city and union officials are advocating for increased protection for city workers following the violent incident on Hartwell Street.
The attack occurred when Kenneth Vandergrift, the vehicle’s owner and a Dorchester resident, was approached by the parking enforcement worker. Vandergrift proceeded to allegedly take the worker’s radio and use it to physically assault him, in addition to kicking and stomping on him, resulting in the worker sustaining significant injuries, including a swollen shut eye. Vandergrift has been arrested and is facing multiple charges, including assault on a person over 60.
While the local community was shocked by the details of the incident, the union representing the workers was not. According to Jim Durkin of AFCSME 93, these workers regularly face verbal and physical assaults simply for carrying out their duties.
Boston City Councilor Erin Murphy has voiced the need for a hearing to address this issue, proposing potential solutions such as increased security measures and allowing parking enforcement to work in pairs during overnight shifts. Murphy emphasized the importance of ensuring that city workers have the necessary support to carry out their jobs, particularly in terms of safety.
Durkin echoed the need for support and stated the intention to meet with the workers prior to the hearing. He also emphasized the role that the public could play in changing the general attitude towards parking enforcement officers and addressing the mean-spirited and often violent treatment they experience.
As the city and union officials continue to advocate for improved safety measures for city workers, the community at large is urged to consider their role in creating a safer environment for those tasked with enforcing parking regulations. Such incidents shed light on the challenges faced by city workers and the importance of addressing safety concerns in the performance of their duties.