When there’s a problem, call the authorities. That’s the message police are sending to residents during a small Arizona town after conflicts bubbled up about parking.
More than 1,000,000 people visit Jerome per annum. the tiny town in Central Arizona between Flagstaff and Prescott was once referred to as the “wickedest town within the West.” It’s now home to about 450 people and therefore the Mine Museum, which explores its copper mining history. It’s a hot spot for artists, tourists, and novelty shop owners.
The Jerome local department posted on Facebook on July 11 that they’ve been made conscious of residents, uninterested with tourists’ parking habits, yelling at tourists or leaving notes on their cars.
“It has come to our attention that some people visiting our town on short visits and using lawful short term parking passes are being yelled at or having notes left on their cars by local residents,” the local department wrote within the Facebook post.
“Yelling at, or leaving notes could, in some cases, constitute harassment under Arizona Revised Statutes. If you are feeling there could also be a parking violation please notify the Jerome local department to research.”
The post was updated on July 14. “We would really like to supply a clarification on our original post. This was never intended to call out any specific person or group of persons. We are simply reminding our residents to call us if they observe a possible crime like trespassing, or violation of Town code, like a parking violation. it’s always better to permit the local department to handle these issues.”
That was followed by another update on July 15 clarifying again the meaning behind the first post. This time, Jerome’s captain says his primary concern is that there’s not a physical altercation over an easy parking issue.
“I say this because often there seems to be a scarcity of respect for each other in society today, which can cause violence,” said Jerome captain Allen L. Muma within the Facebook post. “Please understand that you simply never know the state of mind of the person you’ll confront. Leave the confrontations to the police, that’s our job.
We have clearly posted signage advising visitors of places they’re to not park, and that we issue citations to violators. We ask that visitors understand that the residents who live here have a right to park where they live, so once they return home after getting off work, or return home with groceries, they need an area to park.”