By Jessica Farrish The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Alexis Parker is the creator of the "Detachable License and Registration Mount." The product allows drivers who are reaching for legal documents to keep their hands visible to officers.
The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.
Beckley Common Council gave kudos to a local entrepreneur who is aiming to help police-community relations with her civic-friendly invention.
Alexis Parker said she developed the "Detachable License and Registration Mount," a patent-pending holder for motorist insurance and car registration documents, after seeing instances of officer-involved shootings.
The mount holds automobile information so that, during routine traffic stops, drivers will be able to keep their hands on the wheel of the car while police approach.
"The officer does not have to concern himself with where your hands are," Parker told council members.
Parker said that the convenient mount allows motorists who are reaching for legal documents to keep their hands visible to officers. It also allows drivers to choose to keep their hands on the steering wheel instead of moving them to look for paperwork.
"They can tell the officer, 'Hey, it's in my sun visor ...You can pull it down,'" Parker explained.
Parker has set up a Facebook page that allows drivers to purchase the holder for $4.
"It was created to help officers and drivers be safer," the product Facebook page reads. "Place your license and registration in the driver side sun visor.
"This enables the driver to keep his or hands on the steering wheel while retrieving their license and registration."
Beckley Police Department Chief Lonnie Christian praised Parker's efforts at the Tuesday meeting.
"It's good to see somebody who's not just showing concern, but actually takes actions to meet the need," Christian said. "So, very good."
BPD officially stands behind Parker's product. In a press release, BPD Lt. Dave Farley wrote, "This keeps an officer at ease by being able to see the individual's hands at all times and keeps the motorist safe by not having to reach into compartments where the officer cannot see their hands.
"This is an effort to keep both the officers and motorist safe during potentially dangerous traffic stops by using common sense and courtesy."
Parker thanked Beckley Councilman Frank Williams, Christian and her pastor, Heart of God Bishop Fred Simms.
Simms suggested a change that improved the final design, she said.
Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold also commended Parker for her work.
The mount is available for purchase at https://www.facebook.com/DetachableLicenseandRegistrationMount
In other actions, council approved a proposal to amend 2014, 2015 and 2016 HUD grant funds that were to be used to tear down the old Beckley Newspapers building.
The funds will now be allocated to Parks and Recreation for work on East Park, Temple Street and Simpkins Street parks.
Councilwoman-at-Large Sherrie Hunter reported that Earth Day litter pick-up projects held Saturday were a success.
Hunter and Rappold commended Piney Creek Watershed Executive Director David Stewart for initiating the projects.