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Out with the boot and in with the barnacle? New parking enforcement device being tested in Colorado

Posted at 10:06 AM, Oct 16, 2017

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. -- Out with the boot and in with the barnacle.

The parking boot that goes around your tire got its start right here in Denver, and now the next parking enforcement device is getting tested in Colorado. 

It's a yellow suction device that attaches to your front windshield, called the Parking Barnacle, and the Elbert County Sheriff's Office is using one.

It takes 30 seconds to put on. Deputy Chris Dickey said the barnacle is more safe than the boot. 

"Putting on a boot on to a vehicle generally is on the driver side of the vehicle, it's exposed to traffic, it exposes the person who is installing it," Dickey said. 

The office uses the barnacle for DUIs, mainly.

"If we arrest somebody on a rural county road and it's going to be two, three hours sometimes before a tow truck can get out there and we don't want that person coming back to the vehicle and driving away," Dickey said. 

Removing the barnacle isn't easy without a code. There’s an alarm that blares if you were to drive off or attempt to remove it.

Once you pay the fee and get a code, you can take the barnacle off yourself and bring it back to the agency who put it on. 

The barnacle can be tracked using GPS.

"We created the product to just be a better, more efficient, more convenient way to enforce parking and our customers are taking it further and using it for new innovated ways as it is a pretty flexible system," said CEO Kevin Dougherty.

Dougherty said the goal is for the barnacle to eventually replace the boot because of how convenient it is for people to use. 

"It's got a motorist release feature so it's more convenient for the motorists as well. They don't have to take up the whole day either waiting for someone to take the boot off or having to go somewhere else to get their car because it was towed," Dougherty said.

The barnacle is being used in towns in Illinois, Florida and Pennsylvania. 

The Elbert County Sheriff's Office is the only law enforcement agency in Colorado to use the device.