Keep one eye open: Parking officers prove to be talented ticketers

by Anna Warner

Keep one eye open: Parking officers prove to be talented ticketers

Do you go to UNCG? Do you have a car? Then you are being watched. Not by the FBI or the CIA. This big brother merits consequences that will arrest and kill your day … and I do have to say they are quite good at it. UNCG Parking Operation officers are notorious for their keen eye over the campus looking for cars without permits, cars parked a millisecond over the two-hour parking restrictions, and cars parked a little outside the white lines.

I am a freshman at UNCG and I have bumped heads with the parking operation officials more than a couple times. I have received everything from a letter of warning, to a boot, and those yellow parking tickets? Well, I have a collection of those stacked up in an unused drawer in my desk. There has never been a time when I have gotten away with sloppy parking. Ticket after ticket, I get angrier and angrier. It’s not because I am not willing to do the time for my crime.

It’s because these patrol officers are so clever! People often wonder, how serious can these parking officers be about their job? I too have pondered that same question so I decided to do a little investigating of my own.

I ventured to the Parking Operations office on campus and asked to speak with the parking officer who seems to be the best at catching college students violating parking restrictions.

Some students refer to him as “The Parking Nazi.” When I met him, he was polite and seemed harmless. He would not speak to me unless it was okay with his superior. He handed me a business card for the Director of Parking Operations and told me to call her to receive approval. When I explained I was writing a column about the talented parking officer I so desperately wanted to speak with, she laughed and told me she would call me back to see what her superior had to say … no reply.

So my quest to investigate the methods of these officers failed in the midst of conflicts of interest and speculation because what’s more suspicious than a young reporter hoping to ask some questions. Luckily for me, I have mastered the art of natural observation.

TICKET: ‘Do you have a car? Then you are being watched’

Even though I was unable to talk to this notoriously known officer, I have seen him performing his art around campus. I have found that he uses distinct methods for identifying parking offenses. No one knows who he is. He asked that his name not be exposed so I cannot reveal the most relentless officer in the university. I can share some methods and advice so that you won’t find yourself stuck with a collection of parking violations.

Parking at UNCG is not very efficient, in fact it can be hectic to find a parking spot. Most parking lots and decks are located across campus from residence halls. No one likes to park all the way across campus and walk back to their dorm, especially in the extreme cold or heat. There are meters outside the residence halls for family visitors. These meters must be refilled every 30 minutes. Students should tell their family members or friends who are in to visit them to watch out for those golf carts with the words “UNCG Parking Operations” stamped on the rear and always remember to refill the meter. Meters are the most common spot for parking officers to patrol. They don’t simply drive by to check meters, they get out and walk back and forth, checking each one multiple times.

I have observed parking officers on my walks to class and I have seen some methods they use to catch violators. I have seen an officer put a marker on the wheel of a car parked in the two hour parking spots. Later I gathered that he was putting a marker on the wheel as soon as he saw the driver leave to measure how much time had passed since they had parked. In two hours, he came back to see if the marker had been moved. If the marker hadn’t moved, a ticket was slapped on the windshield.

In the past, I felt angry when I saw a parking ticket on my car. Most students find themselves glaring as soon as they see the UNCG parking golf cart zoom past. There is another way to view this. I appreciate the zeal these officers have for their jobs. Their clever methods and relentless determination should be applauded. If you are a driver that seems content with parking a little crooked, you might come out to see a yellow parking ticket choked behind your windshield wipers and as you read that ticket, you will realize that you have been served courtesy of UNCG. !