The Boot and the Booty
Last year was a record-setter for campus police: 10,144 parking tickets issued and 125 cars given the boot—the automotive handcuff that gets clamped onto tires of cars with three or more outstanding tickets. While the flurry of tickets frustrates many, it does have its benefits. Namely, the booty. Last year, parking tickets generated $81,000 in revenue.
So what becomes of the loot? The first $30,000 goes toward alcohol-free weekend activities for students, says campus police chief Mike Couch. Some gets combined with parking permit fees and deposited into the University’s general fund, while the extra—about $45,000 last year—goes toward improvements. It’s purchased a new traffic booth on University Drive, a computer system to track tickets and four outdoor emergency telephones. An 8-foot-tall fence near the Cintas Center is planned this year, along with 14 high-tech cameras.
And last year’s record, says Couch, may not last long. He expects the 8 percent jump in tickets issued to continue since more students live on campus and more people attend Cintas Center events.
“People say all we do is write parking tickets,” he says, “but when our student parking monitors and officers are in the lots, it’s win-win because the criminal element is deterred and the students feel safer.”