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PEO Spotlight: Luis Laboy

Luis LaboyRemember February’s cold spell? Turning each corner only to be met by piercing winds that would leave your face numb within seconds?

For most of us, we only had to deal with the tundra during our short walk to work. Our Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) on the other hand — yeah, they had to battle the blistering winds and bitter cold seven hours a day while walking their beats.

Luis Laboy, a Northeast Philly native, has been with the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) for just under a year, and he’s up for the challenge. Why? Because he clearly has that competitive “let’s do it” attitude.

“I coach baseball, basketball, soccer and football when I’m not working. I also play recreational softball whenever I can.”

As a coach of four different sports, it’s obvious Laboy has a passion for mentoring our youth. But what’s his favorite sport?

“Baseball. I played baseball since I was seven years old all the way up through high school. I would go back and forth between first base and catcher.”

Here’s the thing though — and be nice, Philadelphia — Laboy is a devout Yankees fan, and proud of it. You see that PPA hat he’s wearing in the picture above? Well when he’s not walking his beats, it’s replaced by a Yankees cap.

Don’t let the fact that Laboy’s a Yankees fan stop you from talking to him. Because just like all of our PEOs, Laboy doesn’t just issue tickets, he educates the public.

“Sometimes you’ll get out-of-towners who don’t know it’s free meter night or they’re not sure how to use a kiosk. So we always try to take the time to help them so they don’t receive a ticket.”

That’s right: a PEO helping prevent tickets instead of issuing them. In fact, sometimes our PEOs play the role of good samaritan, too.

A few months ago a coworker and I came across a lost deaf child on Filbert Street. He was separated from his parents who were shopping close by. We stayed with the child while the police were contacted and until he was reunited with his parents.”

These acts of goodwill from our PEOs tend to go unnoticed. Because part of their job means issuing tickets, sometimes it can get pretty hostile.

“A few weeks ago I issued a ticket to a gentleman parked in a passenger loading zone. He was irate and repeatedly threatened my life. But the only thing I could do was turn and walk away.” 

It’s a daily occurrence for our PEOs to be threatened for merely doing their job. In this case, mends were made.

“ A few weeks later I bumped into that same gentleman and he was very apologetic. I appreciated that. But in most cases, you just need to take it on the chin and bear it.”

When Laboy is done walking his beats and not coaching the next Babe Ruth, he has a simple yet satisfying way to wind down. And of course, it involves sports.

“I usually play sports-oriented video games like Madden, MLB The Show and FIFA. My friends and I usually get together and have tournaments.”

So the next time you see Laboy walking his beats, feel free to ask questions! And if you’re an avid gamer, who knows? Maybe you can exchange GamerTags and face-off in MLB The Show. Just remember: he’ll probably be playing as the Yankees.