ticket to raising funds
not fighting crime, university police writing citations
students updated their parking permits, the number of
parking citations would be reduced significantly.
it a bull market for traffic citations.
The university is on pace to levy more parking fines
than last fiscal year when students, faculty
and staff forked over more than $370,000 for TCU citations
and has already collected $351,207 since June
1, said Cheryl Wilson, the university controller.
The university uses the funds to help support general
The TCU Police Department employs 22 licensed officers
and 10 security guards who when theyre
not solving crimes or trying to prevent them
sweep the campus for parking offenders. An administrative
assistant maintains a database and even compiles a Most
Wanted List of students who have received multiple
tickets since the start of the academic year.
And the only thing stopping police from writing more
tickets is a lack of officers.
We constantly have vacancies because officers
leave for higher salaries at bigger departments,
said J.C. Williams, assistant chief of police.
Every nine-hour shift has at least four scheduled officers,
but the department would like to have five officers
on every shift, Williams said.
tickets are given during the 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
shift because there are more officers, officer
Ervey Garcia said. The officers at night cant
write tickets because they are more concerned about
As of March 31, the TCU Police Department had issued
9,682 tickets since Aug. 1.
Ben Dalton, a sophomore political science and criminal
justice major, said the officers give too many tickets,
which has a negative impact on the university.
It alienates the students and makes them not like
the officers as much, said Dalton, who has received
three tickets since his freshman year. I think
the fines are ridiculously high. Once I got a $100 ticket
for parking in a fire lane for one minute while I went
to call a friend on the outside dorm phone.
If students updated their parking permits, which cost
$75 a year, then the number of parking violations would
be significantly reduced because, according to police
records, the most frequent violation is not having a
current parking permit.
Records show 2,881 tickets have been issued for this
violation, which carries a $75 fine, from Aug. 1 to
March 31, compared with 3,331 tickets issued for this
violation during the same period last year.
The second-most recorded violation is parking in a space
the permit doesnt allow, with 1,499 violations,
followed closely by parking in a numbered reserved space,
with 1,166 violations.
DeAnn Jones, administrative assistant at the police
station, keeps track of the parking citations every
month. A few names begin to stand out after she enters
their information many times, she said.
Many repeat offenders are placed on the Most Wanted
List, a list of students who have received three
or more tickets since the start of the academic year.
No. 1 on the list is a student with 44 tickets since
August, according to Police Department records.
The Police Department refused to release the students
name or the type of vehicle the student drives.
The next most wanted student has received
32 tickets since August.
The police officers do not know if a student has paid
a parking fine because payment is handled by financial
services, Jones said.
Many students believe that if they pay all their
parking fines and dont have a balance, then the
officers wont write them tickets, Jones
said. They will say, But Im really
good at paying my tickets so why I am getting another
Garcia said he hasnt noticed a change in the number
of students who disobey parking rules and receive tickets
in his 22 years at this university.
The fines, which can range from $50 to $100, have not
led to a decrease in the number of parking tickets issued,
Edward Green, a junior finance major, said the fines
are a deterrent to some students, but dont affect
It all depends on your financial situation,
said Green, who has not received any parking tickets
at TCU. You always have that percentage of repeat
offenders that dont care. Im not sure if
they have a lot of money or if they just dont
If a police officer suspects he or she is writing a
ticket for a car belonging to a repeat offender, then
the officer will call the police dispatcher to verify
how many tickets the student has, Garcia said.
If time permits, their car will be booted at that
time, he said.
Anyone can be towed or booted if parked illegally, but
the general standard is to boot or tow students who
have three or more citations in the academic year, Garcia
For this academic year, 681 students have three or more
parking violations, according to TCU police records.
Fifty-three cars have been booted, and four cars have
been towed since August.
Its not effective, Jones said of the
booting and towing of cars. The department has
only 12 boots and doesnt have the time to use
them all the time.
Jones said the officers wish the parking fines would
be a deterrent to students to stop parking illegally.
We dont want to be known as a university
that tows everybody off, Jones said. Frankly,
thats bad PR.