In recent years, Spring Hill College students have been pushing the limits on parking violations, but this year public safety is pushing back by making the issuance of state tickets a possibility. This semester, public safety is warning students that if they do not obey Alabama state laws on campus, they are not afraid to issue state citations.
Chief J. Kevin Anderson of the Spring Hill College Department of Public Safety said: “We’re going to concentrate with the state citations on handicap and firezones… The firezone and handicap parking tickets can go anywhere from $200 to $500.” While Anderson said they are going to be lenient at first, if students continue to drive recklessly and park in illegal parking spots, they are willing and able to issue state citations, Anderson explains: “If we continue to have students who disregard normal traffic customs and run stop signs, speeding and reckless driving after we’ve written them a couple of Spring Hill College tickets… We’ll step up the game."
Although Anderson said his officers have yet to issue any state citations, SHC senior, Caitlin Hellmers has noticed a difference already. Hellmers explains: “I think that the tickets are making a more positive impact on campus, because people aren’t parking in fire lanes or using up handicap spots. So if there was to be a medical or fire emergency, fire trucks do have those spots to go into, or if we do have more handicap students or visitors on campus their spots aren’t taken.” While some students are recognizing a difference by the simple threat of receiving a state citation, some students hope public safety will become more transparent and clear about their policies before they do decide to start issuing these state citations. SGA president, Dylan Mire, explains what he feels most students are confused about: “It’s important for students to realize that there is not going to be this influx of random Mobile police officers on campus… We have officially sworn in, sanctioned Mobile police officers and so that have that jurisdiction, they are going to be the ones writing those tickets.”
According to the Department of Public Safety’s annual report, SHC’s police officers are sworn officers, meaning they “have (the) same authority, duties and immunities as all other police officers in the State of Alabama.” This would include the option of writing campus-only citations, or state citations. Public safety is hoping that the possibility of these state citations will encourage student drivers to be more cautious when driving and parking on campus.