Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fix ticket policy, campus cops say; State is taking away their right to write

By DAN DeLEO
The Patriot Ledger

Bridgewater State College campus police are blasting orders from the state to give up their motor vehicle citation books and quit writing tickets, enforcement tools officers say they need to battle everything from underage drinking to speeding to drunken driving.

The controversy stems from a new, stricter interpretation of state law, which does not explicitly give state college campus police officers the power to issue citations but does not deny them that authority either.

''We've been issuing these citations for 38 years and it was never an issue,'' said Bridgewater State College campus Police Chief David H. Tillinghast. ''Now, they're telling us we can't. And it's getting to the point where we won't have any citations left.''

Matt Shedd, president of the Massachusetts chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the new policy makes no sense at a time when underage drinking and college binge drinking are making headlines nationwide.

''We don't understand the logic here,'' Shedd said. ''(On college campuses) there is such a high concentration of young people who are drinking and often driving, too.''

Campus police chiefs at state colleges in Framingham, Salem and Westfield agree. Some are rationing the few tickets they have left, only giving out warnings.

The ruling came down from the state Department of Public Safety several years ago, but campus police are just beginning to feel the effects of it because they are only now running low on citations. And their requests for more are being denied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

''If (state college campus police) are still issuing motor vehicle citations, they are breaking the law and shouldn't be doing that,'' said Katie Ford, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Public Safety. ''They should be enforcing campus parking violations only.''

Officials with the Department of Public Safety and the Registry say the new policy conforms to the strict reading of the law, which names only campus police appointed by trustees of the University of Massachusetts and trustees of Southeastern Massachusetts University as authorized to issue citations.

State college police chiefs are appointed by their respective school trustees.

Tillinghast said the new policy severely undercuts his force's ability to police a college campus where underage drinking is prevalent and drunken driving a persistent danger.

Bridgewater State College is the largest state college on the South Shore and houses more than 2,300 students in on-campus residence halls.

The 370-acre campus has miles of public roadway and about 4,000 parking spaces that typically turn over several times a day.

According to college crime statistics, last year there were 153 arrests on campus for liquor law violations and 71 for drug law violations.

Last year there were 10 arrests on campus for drunken driving.

Often, those arrests stem from routine traffic stops, Tillinghast said.

The citations also serve an important legal function, campus police chiefs say. The tickets serve as the legal documentation of the stop, and establish probable cause for the stop.

Some chiefs say their drunken driving arrests won't be taken seriously in court without a citation serving as the foundation for the arrest.

''The court won't process an OUI arrest without a citation,'' said Framingham State College Police Chief Brad Medeiros, who has run out of tickets. ''It's an imperative part of the process. This handcuffs us.''

Bridgewater State College police Lt. Glen Anderson added: ''We can still make arrests, but our cases will be vulnerable; defense attorneys will pick it apart in two minutes.''

Motor vehicle citations can also trigger administrative action from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, such as automatic license suspensions.

The issue has caught the attention of some lawmakers including Sen. Mark Pacheco, D-Taunton. He plans to push a bill in the next legislative session that would give ticket-writing power back to state college campus police.

''It seems like nothing more than a turf battle, and that does not serve the public,'' added Sen. Brian A. Joyce, D-Milton.

Salem State College police Capt. William Anglin said with his supply of citations dwindling, he too has instructed his officers to be judicious in their ticket writing.

''We're being picky,'' Anglin said. ''We're trying to hang on to them for as long as possible. But eventually we will run out of books. Maybe we'll just have to make up our own. But will that fly in a court of law?''

Dan DeLeo may be reached at [email protected].

Copyright 2004 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Saturday, December 18, 2004
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I have taken it upon myself to email this article to my State Senator asking for his support, I suggest others do the same if we are serious about fixing this problem.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
530 Posts
I can't understand how something that help take drunk drivers off the road is stopped by the registry. Ill be writing to my state rep also an this matter it makes no sense
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Several years ago at Holyoke Community College we asked our Chief/Director of Facilities for RMV citation books. His reply was along the lines of "you guys can't get them, but if they come, we'll see." He thought that was the end of it.

Long story short, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles sent us, upon our request a BOX of Motor Vehicle Citation books. Our Chief/Director of Facilities was agast when they came.

He promptly put them into his office, kept telling us he was working with the Trustees to get permission to let us begin to use them. Then when he thought no one was looking...He sent them back to the RMV.

We continue to stop vehicles on the campus roadways, but it's a bitch to criminal complaint someone in for speeding, or to criminal complaint them for an accident. The clerk magistrate always asks where the M/V citation is...

The other thing we have to do is, as we are state property, is to call a Road Trooper in to cite the offender. After all, knowledge of one, is knowledge of all...And all that jazz.

The MSP Road Troopers just L-O-V-E being called off the big road to respond to a state college campus to cite an operator.

One would think that SPAM would get behind us on the RMV citation book issue. After all it's at the SPA that our new MSSPOs are taught about motor vehicle infractions and how to perform traffic stops. One less thing for the Road Trooper to have to do.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hope the article in today’s Patriot Ledger will raise public awareness in our efforts to maintain safe motor vehicle standards on state college property. I hope everyone will support Senator Brian Joyce and Senator Mark Pacheco on this very important public safety issue.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
288 Posts
I think its a AFSCME conspiracy to get us to look more like security guards than "real" cops.. I can see it now... well they cant write citations, so they must be security....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
OK I know I am probably going to shoot myself in the foot with this one but
What about 73/18 We always used that at my former campus because the trustees did appoint al CPO's to enforce traffic regs on the campus.
 

·
Retired Fed, Active Special
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
Re: re: Campus Cops Say Fix Ticket Policy

fscpd907 said:
I hope the article in today's Patriot Ledger will raise public awareness in our efforts to maintain safe motor vehicle standards on state college property. I hope everyone will support Senator Brian Joyce and Senator Mark Pacheco on this very important public safety issue.
State Rep Phil Travers is also looking into inserting the appropriate language into the statutes with research provided by our agency.
:wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I have written to Madd concerning this issue and the Governor. I have only recieved a reply from Madd saying that they contacted the Registry Attorney and that the Registry Attorney wouldn't budge on the issue.

This issue shouldn't be just about Driving under the influence on College Campus, but about the whole community in which the college is located. I live and work in the same town as my college. I have family who lives in town, it bothers me to see all these College students leave at 11:30 p.m. and drive back at 3:00 a.m..

Over the past year or so we made several arrests for Opearting under the influence. When the subjects have consented to the breath tests their results were higher than .15.

Everyone knows that level that impairment is high. Driving a motor vehicle could result in deadly accident with the operator, passengers or the poor innocent person just coming home from work or on their way out. I am glad to see that the media has finally taken a pro-active stance and hopefully with eveyone assistance we can get this issue resolved before someone gets injured or killed. I am willing to take a stand on this issue, I have the letter that I sent to Madd, and the Governor and would be willing to email copies to any Police Officer who would like to send it to a Senator, Rep, ect. Be safe,
 
G

·
I hate to say it, but it might take a couple of tragic events before they "see the light" on this matter. I remember writing tickets as a security guard back in 2000 at one place I worked. These were just handled by HR and did not go to the registry. I had to ticket the same guy five times for parking in a reserved spot. When I wrote the first one, he happened to come by his car while I wrote it. He sticks his chest out and gives me this attitude. Well, the next day, there is his car back in the same spot.
Finally I got the ok from HR to tell him to move his car or the wrecker would at his expense. I loved going into the plant, finding him and giving him the news.
I guess my point is, if it was a real ticket, he would not have been there the second time.
 

·
Retired Fed, Active Special
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
This has been stated before but here goes.

Those STATE agencies that still have tickets and are SWORN police under CH.75 (Umass System) or CH.73/s.18 (State/Community System) just keep writing. The District Courts ARE still processing them, and the RMV is still posting court findings. The RMV has only stopped ISSUING ticket books to campus agencies.

The reference to the "Department of Public Safety" saying there's no specific authority for campus police to write tickets is misleading. There is no power under SSPO, but again, who cares? Most state college cops are Trustee-Appointed police and enforcing CH.90 under the above statutes.

I am sure this will be addressed/fixed by the legislature and then the RMV and DPS demi-gods can go pound sand.
:wink:
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I sent a copy of the article to Massachusetts MADD Rep. Barbara Harrington and posted her response below.

=======================================================================
From: Barbara Harrington [email protected]

Thank you for sending the article. I have had many conversations with Lt. Anderson in Bridgewater, and have been trying to discuss the issue with the RMV and GHSB. They are non-responsive at this point. I suggested that Bridgewater take it to the press.
You might write a letter to the editor further explaining the dilemma and the dangers to students and the community presented by this strange decision.

As soon as the legislature sets up its committee leadership, I suggest that you approach them and your own area legislators for help. You need to work together and we will help you up to our capacity to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
Re: re: Campus Cops Say Fix Ticket Policy

ecpd402 said:
I can't understand how something that help take drunk drivers off the road is stopped by the registry. Ill be writing to my state rep also an this matter it makes no sense
This is just my speculation but maybe the RMV got too many complaints about BS tickets being written. This would cause the RMV to rethink giving campus police powers to ticket. Somebody must have given someone a ticket and brought that to the state legislature to contest having campus police having ticketing powers.

I dont see how it hinders that many colleges. Most state colleges aren't that big i know framingham state doesn't have that many road ways to patrol. There is the acess rd of rt 9 and then 126 and the varied parking lots around the campus but nothing that large. How much traffic flows through campus? I haven't seen alot, but then again i dont know FS boundaries for jurisdiction. Most colleges in Boston have less then a mile in roadways. Simmons, Mass art, etc. The only large colleges such as Northeastern, BC, BU, Berkeley may be hindered but if you are a student in Boston chances are you wont be bringing a car with you.

I do agree that this does hinder the process of taking drunk drivers off the road. However, it makes you wounder why the RMV and mass state legislature has gone this route :?:
 

·
Retired Fed, Active Special
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
Re: re: Campus Cops Say Fix Ticket Policy

HELPMe said:
[
This is just my speculation but maybe the RMV got too many complaints about BS tickets being written. This would cause the RMV to rethink giving campus police powers to ticket. Somebody must have given someone a ticket and brought that to the state legislature to contest having campus police having ticketing powers.

I do agree that this does hinder the process of taking drunk drivers off the road. However, it makes you wounder why the RMV and mass state legislature has gone this route :?:
You just don't get the previous posts. The Legislature gives authority through statutes (CH.75/CH.73/etc) to state agencies to appoint Police Officers. These cops are further empowered by statute to enforce traffic laws. The RMV has only stopped issuing tickets to certain agencies due to their own strict interpretation of CH.90C s.1(Definitions) The Registry of Motor vehicles DOES NOT grant authority to police officers. The LEGISLATURE does by Statute(s)
:shock:
Again lets look at the Department of Public Safety. Special State Police Powers under CH.22C Don't grant any CH.90 powers to any Agency. If you go back to CH.90C s.1, however, DMR/DMH Campus Police are defined as "Police Officers" by the RMV. Is this some sort of disparity? You bet your hind quarters it is.

Most private colleges are screwed;
1. They are NOT mentioned ANYWHERE by statute. (regards to CH.90)
2. Most are NOT employed by governmental agency/entity.
Unless they are specials in a town or, (cough cough) get tickets from sheriffs,
they are out in the cold.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from your RMV
:roll:

The RMV has chosen to "go this route" as you put it. The Legislature is NOT GUILTY.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Go the the RMV web site and down load the form marked RMV Complaint of Improper Operation. Now I know this is not a citation however if everyone started flooding RMV with hearings maybe they would push the work- load back to the courts.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
185 Posts
I can't belive this. What a crock. I go to Massasoit CC and the officers there are very active( just my observation)about any kind of M/V citations, as it should be. I can't tell ya how many times I have seen these kids fly at like 50 in a 20 zone. This kind of enforcement is needed so that these idiot kids realize their car is not a toy. :evil:
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top