It wasn't even noon Thursday, and Kenmore Police Chief Carl J. LaCorte already had received approximately 40 emails, beginning at 6 a.m., indicating online payments of overdue parking fines.
"Every time I turn around, this thing has another one," LaCorte said Thursday morning, gesturing toward the computer.
Online payments made overnight totaled more than $1,000, he said; "walk ups" to the front window at Police Headquarters on Thursday morning brought in another $1,000.
With only hours left before the expiration of an amnesty period for parking scofflaws, it appeared that people wanted to avoid becoming test cases for the new local law targeting "three-peat" offenders.
"People are trying to beat the deadline. These are coming in fast and furious," LaCorte said.
Effective today, vehicles with three or more unpaid parking tickets that are spotted within the village are subject to towing. Registered owners will be responsible for towing and storage charges.
The local law adopted by the Village Board in March was crafted to address more than $500,000 in unpaid parking fines dating back to 2003.
A 371-page list identifying approximately 12,000 license plate numbers with unpaid parking tickets was narrowed down to roughly 500 three-time offenders. They were notified by letter of the amnesty period, which ran from April 3 through midnight Thursday.
As of Tuesday, approximately $41,000 in fines have been paid.
With the amnesty period expired, the license plate numbers of vehicles that still have three or more unpaid tickets are being programmed into the police department's two license plate readers.
Cameras mounted at the front and rear of police vehicles can read the plates of moving and parked vehicles, spanning the width of a street.
As officers begin enforcing the law, suspect vehicles will undergo additional scrutiny to determine if the fines were paid during the amnesty period, the police chief said.