New Crackdown On Parking At North Campus
Anyone parking illegally at North Campus is about to find themselves in a sticky situation.
Public safety officers have upped their surveillance strategies on North Campus parking lots after a recent rash of auto thefts, according to North Campus’ Public Safety Chief Therese Homer.
Bright orange violation stickers are being placed on the windows of vehicles for the following infractions: Not having a valid MDC parking decal, parking in a handicap space without a permit, parking on the grass or blocking another vehicle.
According to Homer, approximately 300 violation stickers have been issued so far this academic year.
“This is a practice that has been followed for a number of years at North,” Homer said via email.
According to Garry Jeanniton, major of Miami-Dade Police Department’s Northside station, which oversees the College, several police officers also patrol the grounds.
“If any Miami-Dade police officers see violations, they will write citations,” Jeanniton said. “My pet peeve are the handicap parkers, those that park there when they don’t have any special needs. They are inconveniencing people that are handicapped. We’ve written some of those. Other than that we respond if there is an emergency, and on a daily basis.”
Homer said that the goal is not to get vehicles towed, but to assure that anyone parked in any lot has a valid reason to be there.
“We attempt to work with vehicle owners and not tow vehicles without first attempting to locate the driver,” Homer said.
North Campus Public Safety is also implementing other tactics to keep the campus safe, including a “Park and Walk” procedure where the officer parks their vehicle and walks the lot checking for vehicles that may appear to be an easy target for criminals.
If an officer spots a vehicle with its windows down or valuables in plain sight, for example, the officer will call in the decal ID or tag number to dispatch in an attempt to reach the owner and have them secure the vehicle.
Another strategy implemented by officers that students may have noticed recently is the blockading of exits in certain lots. This “structure by design” tactic forces all vehicles to pass through one point, making it easier to observe all traffic in the lots.
Some students feel that the only way to lessen the amount of crimes occurring on campus is to increase the amount of officers on patrol.
“I don’t think those stickers are making a difference,” said Quincy O’Bryan, 21, who has received a violation sticker. “I think they need more bodies out there watching the lots. The more people watching, the less likely it is someone will try to break into those cars.”
Homer acknowledges that crime is an unfortunate part of our society and that her officers will do the best they can to limit its occurrence.
“Even though unfortunately we have had some vehicle thefts on campus,” Homer said. “We strive to have zero crimes on our campus community as local police do in the communities they serve.”
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