Sunday, August 12, 2007


A letter-to-the-editor writer broached the parking and crime topics in the same letter today....let's get right to it.

I would be hard pressed to find anyone in Annapolis who does not believe that we have the world's best parking enforcement department.

You're kidding, right?

The city leaders should be very proud of this unit. It provides a necessary service and a lucrative revenue stream to the city's treasury.

Ha-ha!! Funny!! No? You're serious?

If you live in Annapolis, you know that as soon as a parking violation occurs or a meter expires, a member of this elite enforcement squad is on the scene. It is as if they can anticipate where the crime will take place.

Have you lost your mind? I know that all of us have received violations from the city at one point or another, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

When I attended the University of Maryland, a community with roughly the same number of students as Annapolis has citizens, I determined that I had 15 minutes of being illegally parked before getting a ticket. Here: not even close. And the numbers support my theory. The city collects some $900,000 annually in parking violations. In 2006, the University of Maryland issued 73,000 parking tickets worth $2.2 million in revenue. This is 144% more than the city of Annapolis. If you include the city of College Park--where many of the residential violations occur-- the UMD number goes to $3.5 million. Since the higher number is more indicative of the overall situation, the UMD conglomerate is 288% more prolific at writing tickets than your 'elite enforcement squad'.

And I will not entertain the argument that more people break the regulations there than here.

The mayor should replace the current police chief with the individual who heads up the parking enforcement division. This new police chief could bring proven and effective techniques to curbing and enforcing crime in this city.

The first part of that comment is awful but the second part redeems you. Although it is common sense, I agree with you in that ENFORCING THE EXISTING LAWS AND METING OUT MEANINGFUL PENALTIES IS THE WAY TO DETER CRIME. (See: 2 am license debate)

The current police chief's major fault is in his deployment of resources. I see a lot of seat-belt stings on Forest Drive and driving-under-the-influence checkpoints on Rowe Boulevard, but no presence in the areas where the more violent crimes are being committed.
JEFF MILLER, Annapolis

Unless you live in a helicopter, you cannot make this assertion. You cannot possibly see where ALL of the police are being deployed. However, I would guess that you are right. I would also guess that the department is understaffed, and that part of the problem is that any officer can only be in 1 place at a time. I would guess one more time that if the police force that we do have was allowed to be more pro-active, we would have less of a problem.