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June 09, 2017

PPA becomes latest tool in fight against terrorism in Philadelphia

PPA Terrorism
03052015_PPA Matt Rourke/AP

A member of the Philadelphia Parking Authority writes a ticket for an expired meter in Center City.

The same people writing up Philadelphia's parking tickets have officially joined the effort to thwart terrorism.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority announced earlier this week that their more than 200 ticket enforcement officers have partnered with the Philadelphia Police Department to get counter-terrorism training.

With constant eyes on the street, the PPA said that the organization is in a "unique position to continually assist law enforcement agencies in combating terrorism."

The officers received their first bout of "situational awareness" training last Tuesday from PPD Detective Joseph Rovnan "to identify scenarios that could potentially bring harm to the general public," like better spotting suspicious packages or vehicles. Martin O'Rourke, PPA spokesperson, said that he hopes that the training will be ongoing. 

He said the new partnership wasn't necessarily the result of recent global events. Terrorist attacks are responsible for claiming the lives of people around the world, with incidents in the United Kingdom and France coming in the past few weeks. 

The PPA first approached the PPD months ago.

"The training in itself is extremely important and extremely helpful," O'Rourke said.