Police department hires new parking officer, records clerk

Lately, parking in Marshalltown has been like the Wild West. But the Marshalltown Police Department has hired a new parking enforcement officer.

Sarah Lewis, 24, of Marshalltown, began training Monday and will soon be ready to assume the role of parking enforcement officer and records clerk.

Capt. Brian Batterson, with the MPD, said the department used to have a part-time parking officer and a part-time records clerk, but when both those people resigned late last year, the MPD decided to combine the positions.

“It should make the position more efficient,” he said.

Lewis is a 2007 East Marshall graduate and spent two years at Marshalltown Community College and another year Ellsworth Community College before joining the staff at the MPD. She applied for the job by filling out an application, submitting a resume and passing a test before a four-member board interviewed her.

Batterson said the department was looking for someone with strong work ethic and exemplary communication skills since the position requires a lot of interaction with the public.

“I like customer service,” Lewis said.

She said the prospect of splitting her day between being indoors and being outdoors appeals to her.

The city has been without a parking enforcement officer since October 2012, but all that is about to change, Batterson said. Although Lewis is not a licensed police officer, she will be handling some scofflaw cases and writing tickets to anyone parked illegally in the downtown area. Patrol officers issue tickets in other areas of town.

A typical parking ticket is $15.