Double trouble for violators

The Public Relations Office at FAMU has announced that the University Parking Services and the FAMU Police Department have merged.

Though the departments merged in May, Interim President Castell V. Bryant decided to wait before making the decision official.

“The merger was a logical marriage,” said James W. Lockley, Jr., assistant police chief of the FAMU PD. Lockley said the two departments were combined to tighten up some loopholes in the old parking services system.

“Too many students were getting away without paying tickets in years past. Under the new system it will be difficult for this to happen,” Lockley said.

Changes created by the merger of the two departments have already begun to take effect.

Many students received tickets during the first two weeks of school, but Lockley said none of the tickets issuso far have been decal related.

He said tickets have been issued as a result of students parking in non-student areas, faculty packing, in front of fire zones and other unauthorized places.

This year, students will notice changes in the form of members of the police department on motorcycles and on foot, to help maintain traffic control.

The former parking services officers will continue to patrol in golf carts under the new title of “Police Service Technicians”.

The police service technicians will enjoy a broader range of duty this year.

They can now take police reports and be armed with official parking tickets instead of the past citations.

A new database will be operating with the tag numbers of all students registered to park on FAMU campus. This database will allow the police department to keep track of all violations made by any student.

Many students are still unaware of the merger, but some who have heard have responded negatively.

“More tickets will be issued now that the policemen will be added to the parking service employees”, said LaToya Watkins, a 19-year-old business administration student from Woodbridge, VA.

Lockley assured no more tickets would be issued than in past years. The merger only ensures that all violators pay the penalty.

University Parking Services will issue parking decals for students this week. All students must get decals during this time frame in order to continue parking on campus.

Obtaining a decal this year will be different from the past.

Students must bring a valid Driver’s License, proof of school registration and vehicle registration in order to receive a decal. These resources must be present so the school police will know who is accountable for every vehicle on campus.

The stadium parking lot will remain open for students to park throughout the school year.

“Parking on any campus is always a touchy area for facility, staff and students because no matter where you go it is always a problem,” Lockley said.