The Amtrak Police Lodge in Wappingers Falls is being criticized for enabling people to park illegally for a $475 fee.

The New York Post is shining a spotlight on a shady practice that allows doctors to park in front of fire hydrants and loading zones without fear of receiving a ticket. The scheme is very popular in New York City, but has also been witnessed in Hudson Valley cities and towns where parking spots are hard to come by.

Window placards that say "Police Surgeon" are being sold to any MD that is willing to pay money for them. The signs make most police officers turn a blind eye to vehicles that are parked illegally. The stickers, however, do not give any special parking powers to those who purchase them. In fact, they even have a warning on the back that says "This is a non-governmental courtesy placard, which does not allow parking in restricted areas or no-parking zones.”

That hasn't seemed to stop doctors from using the stickers to park wherever they want when running errands, going out to dinner or just parking around town. Police don't seem to be in a hurry to issue tickets to these vehicles because of the expensive stickers that are sold by law enforcement agencies.

Doctors can get the signs from only a few agencies. One of them is the NY State PBA which charges $400 a year for the sticker. Another location is the Amtrak Police Lodge #189 in Wappingers Falls. That agency charges $300 for doctors to "join" and another  $175 in annual dues to keep the sticker up to date.

The New York Post noted that the treasurer of the Amtrak Police Lodge in Wappingers was charged with stealing $100,000 in union funds back in 2014.

We want to know what you think about this practice. Should doctors be allowed to park wherever they want just because they give money to the PBA or Amtrack Police Lodge?

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