DAWSONVILLE, Ga – Two Dawson County sheriff’s vehicles were seen parked in a handicapped spot outside the local high school, and the county’s top law enforcement officer says it will never happen again.

11Alive viewer Shane Clayton first brought the matter to our attention. Last week, he spotted a black Dawson County patrol cruiser parked outside Dawson County High School in the reserved spot. Another vehicle was spotted in the same handicapped spot the very next day.

Next to the cruiser is a white, community policing sheriff’s vehicle, used by the school’s resource officer.

Clayton said the sheriff’s vehicles were parked in the reserved spots from 8 a.m. until noon on both days.

"With it happening repeatedly two days in a row, it was obvious it wasn't an emergency situation," Clayton said. “I was thinking what example that sets for the students, with police parking in front of the school in a handicap spot.
“I think they were just taking the opportunity to use available parking,” Clayton said. Other parking spots were available, but further away from the building.

Sheriff Jeff Johnson told 11Alive’s Joe Henke he was unaware of the situation and thanked the station for bringing it to his attention.

“Obviously, we aren’t above the law,” Johnson said. “We are going to determine who it was and when it was, as well as the exact time it happened, who was involved and the reason they were there. We do encourage our citizens and our county to call us when they see an issue like that because we definitely want to hear about that.

“We will hold our folks accountable to obviously obey the law as well as enforce the law.”

No police vehicles were seen in the reserved spots on Monday, Henke reported.