Parking Enforcement Officer Fired for Allowing Car to Park Illegally for Five Minutes without Ticket
By Jamie Welch, Editor-in-Chief
Clint Bowman, a 20-year veteran of the Gettysburg College Department of Public Safety, was fired Tuesday after an internal investigation revealed that he failed to ticket a student’s vehicle that had been parked for five minutes in a visitor’s space in Masters Lot.
Bowman said that he was making his rounds in Stadium Lot, slapping tickets on cars parked in the employee section randomly situated in the middle of an otherwise student lot, at the time that Brent Curtis ‘20 parked his late model Ford Focus in Masters Lot. Bowman claimed that, at the time, he had no idea that the egregious infraction of the Gettysburg College Traffic and Parking Regulations by Curtis was ongoing. Closed circuit camera footage showed that by the time Bowman arrived in Masters Lot five minutes later, Curtis had already made a clean getaway with no $30 ticket affixed to the windshield of his vehicle.
Bill Lafferty, Assistant Vice President of College Life and Executive Director of Public Safety, said he was saddened that he had to let Bowman go, but that the offense in this case was too big to ignore.
“Clint has been very loyal to DPS, and we wish him all the best moving forward, but we can’t have someone on our parking team who lets things slide,” Lafferty said. “We rely on parking enforcement revenue to keep this college going, and we can’t have someone derelicting their duties.”
Dan Konstalid, Vice President of Finance and Administration, agreed with Lafferty that, although he liked Bowman, parking enforcement revenue is critical to the budget of otherwise insolvent distinctive programs such as the Garthwait Leadership Center, and failure to issue tickets in a timely manner was a fireable offense.
“Nearly 80 percent of our budget for these programs comes from parking enforcement revenue, and our public safety officers play a critical role in ensuring that the college can keep falling short of its revenue projections in other areas,” Konstalid said.
Konstalid expressed relief that it was only a visitor’s space violation that had been overlooked, and not something far more serious like a first-year with a car on campus.
“If he had missed a first-year on their second offense parking on campus without an exemption permit we would have lost $300 in revenue. In that case, we would have had no choice but to to sue [Bowman] for gross negligence.”
Lafferty said that although the parking enforcement team was down a man, DPS will maintain efficiency through the use of the department’s new parking enforcement drone.
The drone is equipped with a high resolution camera capable of reading parking permits from hundreds of feet in the air. As soon at it detects a violation the drone swoops down from the sky and affixes a parking ticket to the offending vehicle.
The drone is capable of completing the entire process less than 15 seconds after a violation has occurred.
“The digital age is changing every aspect of our lives, and now that change has come to DPS,” Lafferty said.
Some students, however, were slightly less enthused about the prospect of a drone to monitor parking violations, wondering whether that could be a violation of the unauthorized recording policy.
“But who knows,” said the exasperated student, who insisted on anonymity, fearing the wrath of the Student Life Committee. “They probably haven’t read the policy either, and if it’s anything like the underage drinking policy, they won’t enforce it either.”
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