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City leaders meet with community leaders over volunteer police program

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DENVER -- Police Chief Robert White gathered more than a dozen city leaders to discuss the Denver Disability Rights Volunteer Police program with community leaders.

The meeting was called to help gain a better understanding of what the volunteers do, when it comes to issuing parking tickets to people parking in handicapped spaces without the proper placards.

“We value the program but hear what the public is saying, more education is needed when it comes to understanding their role in relation to police and parking management,” said White. “Our goal is better communication with the public.”

Dale Coski, a former Denver Police officer, was on a traffic stop in 1983 when she lost her leg as another car slammed into her…pinning her between two vehicles.

Now, she says she has been disabled longer than she was able-bodied. She heads up the volunteer program, one she says she has dismissed three volunteers from for “abusing their power.”

“We are looking for people who are calm, can issue a ticket and move on,” said Coski. “Our goal is no confrontations.”

She did say the man who was involved in the arrest of 85-year-old John Copeland, which led to his arrest and jailing, was just doing his job when his actions led Copeland to allegedly hit him with his cane.  

Coski says the volunteer is still on the job.

Copeland is due in court the end of the week.

If you would like to be a volunteer ‘officer’ for parking management, call 720-913-8482. Coski says she needs people who want to help the disabled park with as few problems as possible.