Parking Enforcement

What does a Parking Enforcement Officer do?

A Parking Enforcement Officer’s primary responsibility is to ensure that drivers comply with local parking laws and ordinances and issue citations for violations.  Parking Enforcement Officers also assist police officers with traffic control in the event of an accident or other incidents.  Parking Enforcement Officers, because of their visibility in the city, also interact with the public providing answers to questions about parking, directions, or other information about the area.  The City of Bellingham employs 4 Parking Enforcement Officers.

Why do we need meters?

There are three primary reasons we need parking rules and enforcement; Safety, Community Needs, and Turnover.

Safety:  When a vehicle parks in an area that is designated No Parking, such as to close to an intersection, in a crosswalk, or facing the wrong way, it creates a hazard for other vehicles or pedestrians.  Most parking laws are written for these safety reasons.

Community Needs:  Due to a limited amount of space available in many residential and commercial areas, aesthetic issues with abandoned and hulk vehicles, and traffic flow problems with crowded streets, the city has passed several ordinances designed to help with these issues.

Turnover:  The city of Bellingham, and most cities, employ Parking Enforcement Officers primarily to assist our business and service community.  A problem for most cities is the lack of sufficient curb parking spaces for the large number of vehicles that enter the business district each day.  While motorists shop, dine, or conduct other business they must have parking space. 

As a way of getting an efficient turnover of parking spaces, parking meters, timed parking, and pay stations are often used.  Parking meters and pay stations regulate the length of time a vehicle may park in a particular parking space. 

References for parking problems are:

  1. For urgent parking problems call 911
  2. For general parking problems or questions Email
  3. For abandoned vehicles call (360) 778-8802 and leave a detailed message

FUN FACT:  Meters have been in use in the City of Bellingham since 1938.


Police Logo

Police Department Home Page
Police contact info ​