In the state of Michigan illegally parking in a handicap space can lead to a fine of up to $500.

One Mid-Michigan resident wondered if the same rules applied to police officers after seeing what appeared to be a local police vehicle parked in a handicap space at a local business.

"I don't think it's appropriate," said Jason Myers, resident.

He was injured during his time in the military and has a disabled parking permit.

He snapped a picture of a Saginaw Valley State University Police vehicle on Sunday that appeared to be in a handicap parking spot.

"Why is a law enforcement officer using a handicap position in the course of their duty," Myers said.

TV5 took their tough questions to SVSU Police Chief Leo Mioduszewski. He said in his mind it is not a clear cut violation.

"From the picture the angle it was taken, it does lead one individual to think that maybe he was in the handicap parking spot. No question about it based on the angle. But when I came out here and looked at it, it looks like there's about 14 feet from the edge of where the patrol vehicle would have been up to where a handicap person could park," Mioduszewski.

TV5 did a little research and placed a camera in about the same spot Myers took the photo. Then they parked a news vehicle in the same location the police vehicle was parked. It appeared to block other vehicles from getting into the handicap spot, but there was enough space for a vehicle to park there.

"Unfortunately, they're aren't lines on the parking lot. There's only the one sign," Mioduszewski said.

He concluded his officer parked legally to the side of the sign, away from the building and not against the structure. Mioduszewski also said there is never a time, outside of an emergency, that officers can park in handicap spots.

"We need to show the way. We need to be above what sometimes, what the public would do. I expect that. We are professionals and if they do violate something like that I would've dealt with him if he had actually been in the handicap spot there," Mioduszewski said.

As for Myers, he said his intention was not to make an officer look bad.

"I am fully, 100 percent, behind law enforcement in every manner," he said.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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