Most work cultures include daily routines and rituals that help get the day started. Restaurants have pre-shift meetings and sports teams have pre-game pep talks. Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) at the PPA are no different. They start their days with a roll call.
The benefits of a pre-shift/pre-start/roll call or “whatever you want to call it” meeting are pretty universal across different industries. It helps professionals get their heads in the game, so to speak, be aware of the latest updates, learn about potential dangers or issues, and socialize so they feel connected to their co-workers.
You may be thinking, “Why in the world would PEOs have roll call? All they have to do is issue parking tickets.” Well, you’re partially right, they do issue parking tickets, but it’s not as simple as that. Roll calls are essential in keeping PEOs aware of all the latest rules and regulations that often times can change from day to day in certain areas. Our PEOs need to be aware of all changes before they walk their beats. If there is a special event scheduled in the city that includes relaxed enforcement, or construction work that affects parking, PEOs need to know so they can patrol their beats accordingly.
Before roll call officially begins, PEOs congregate in the roll call room. It’s a good time for a little chit-chat among co-workers, time to talk about weekend plans, or how devastating the latest Game of Thrones episode was. But as time winds down to the start of roll call, the chatter transforms into complete silence.
Now it’s time to get down to business. As the room remains silent, supervisors take attendance to ensure everyone is reporting to their shifts. Supervisors then reiterate enforcement procedures while reviewing past strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a good time for supervisors to give PEOs updates on enforcement, such as the recently-launched scooter pilot program.
On the day I went to the roll call room, Vince Lomento, Head Supervisor at the PPA, stressed the importance of properly writing tickets and radio usage. “Make sure you guys are using the exact address while issuing tickets. Also, make sure you always have your radios turned on, even when you’re on break,” said Lomento.
“Also, if you’re walking your beat in South Philly today, be extra nice to everyone because I live there and you’ll probably bump into one of my neighbors,” he joked. After Lomento finished his run-down, PEOs were encouraged to ask questions about the day’s tasks.
With no questions, roll call ended with everyone on the same page and all loose ends tied up. PEOs then headed toward the exit and dispersed in different directions to embark on the eight hour beats they were assigned. Like all professionals, they’re ready to do their job and do it well, especially now that they know what they will face in the day ahead.