Ticket writer gets new wheels

February 04, 1998


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Sgt. Teresa Conchar figures she has walked about 16,000 miles over the past 17 years while writing traffic tickets for the Charles Town Police Department.

Soon she'll ride in style as she makes her rounds to check parking meters when the Charles Town Police Department puts into service a golf-cart-sized vehicle.

"I think it's kind of neat. I think it's going to be fun and it's going to be wonderful. We're very fortunate to have it," Conchar said.


The cart, powered by an 8- horsepower engine, has an enclosed cab and a small flatbed.

It's the type of cart usually used by major police departments for traffic enforcement, not by small-town agencies, said Police Chief Mike Aldridge.

The Charles Town Police Department obtained the vehicle through a federal program that gives police departments access to surplus military equipment. The program has provided four-wheel-drive vehicles, file cabinets, safes and weapons to area departments.

The parking enforcement vehicle was free to the agency, which only had to obtain an inexpensive starter for it, Aldridge said.

The department also installed a red revolving light on top, and decals matching those of the police cruisers.

The paint job was donated by Superior Auto Body in Ranson, W.Va., Aldridge said.

Aldridge said the vehicle will serve several purposes, including making Conchar's job easier and increasing the visibility of parking enforcement in Charles Town.

It also can be used for odd jobs, such as hauling traffic cones when setting up parade routes, he said.

"It's an all-purpose utility vehicle," Aldridge said. "It's ... well, the only word for it is it's cute and it's useful. In this kind of inclement weather, this will allow her to get out and do her job."

Conchar said she makes about a two-mile circuit when she goes through town looking for expired meters and improperly parked vehicles.

Conchar wrote 834 tickets in 1997 and 931 in 1996.

The Herald-Mail Articles