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DENVER — Getting a parking ticket is like getting a toothache — there’s never really a good time for one. But who’s kidding who, the least favorite person to meet when parking is the parking ticket person.

Or as they are officially known in Denver, Denver right of way enforcement agents. But let’s give them a break. Parking enforcement is a thankless job that has to be done by somebody.

That somebody is three-year agent Joe Burgos.

“They’re not happy. They’re late. Their meeting ran late, they just ran inside to get a cup of coffee,” Burgos said.

As he recites some of the common excuses, he says he has about heard them all. But starting Tuesday and going to Christmas Eve, the parking agents will turn into parking angels.

“They’re giving out free park smart Denver cards, and they’re in $5 increments and you can use them at any meter in Denver,” City and County of Denver spokeswoman Heather Burke said.

Denver is doing this to promote better feelings toward parking agents, and point out they are ambassadors of good will for the city.

They provide direction, help keep parked cars moving to make room for other people, and even return lost and found items such as keys, wallets and medicines that motorists might have dropped when getting out of their cars.

One-hundred cards valued at $5 each will be handed out randomly to people who have just parked but not yet paid. So the next time a parking agent approaches you, don’t get defensive. You very well might be the recipient of a random act of free parking.