At the St. George campus, some campus police officers are allegedly using folded, plain white paper to get away with not paying for parking on certain streets in Toronto, particularly Sussex Avenue.
According to CBC News, among those suspected include campus police constables, sergeants, and staff sergeants who make over $100,000 a year and are listed on the Ontario Sunshine List, a list of the province’s top earners who receive public funding.
Toronto police are currently investigating the situation.
In an interview with CBC News, Brian Moniz, operations supervisor for Toronto Police Parking Enforcement Operations, said the police are trying to find the officers that are allegedly helping the University of Toronto (U of T) campus police.
Moniz ensured the interviewer that the police would never join hands with campus police to avoid paying parking fines.
“I can tell you this was never done on a corporate level, nor would we ever sanction it. Again, it’s something we’re going to have to look into and see how this started,” he said during his interview with CBC News.
Unlike the St. George campus, the City of Mississauga enforces the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM)’s parking policies, leaving the UTM campus police to follow these regulations and policies.
Developed by the city, the Administrative Penalty System (APS) allows municipalities such as the university to enforce parking by-law violations.
Parking tickets are given out by certain campus police staff who have been given the power to issue tickets under the APS.
Although UTM campus police are able to give out tickets, the university is not responsible for any issues that students, staff, and faculty may have with their parking violations. These issues must be brought to court. Tickets that are issued are to be paid to the city and vehicles are to be towed by the city.
Like many other students, Julia Gadomski, a first-year student in Environmental Management, parks her car at the Square One bus terminal every day and takes the bus to campus.
Gadomski knows her daily routine takes up more time and can become a hassle, but since it costs no money, she is willing to do it.
“Paying that much for parking is a bit excessive in my opinion, and I’m sure a lot of other students agree with me,” said Gadomski.
Prices for annual parking permits available to UTM students, staff, and faculty are valid from September to August, and range from $965.40 to $1,190.96 depending on the type of permit (underground parking, reserved, unreserved, or resident).
Sessional parking permits, only available to students, can cost up to $635.46 for both fall and winter semesters.
When informed that the St. George campus police were allegedly avoiding parking tickets, Gadomski was not pleased.
“It does make me a bit upset because it’s not fair at all. We have to pay for basically everything in life, especially for school, so when some people are prioritized and others are not, it becomes unfair,” said Gadomski.
According to CBC News, this is not the first time St. George campus police are receiving attention for their presumed actions.
In 2016, some St. George campus police officers were caught placing campus police uniform patches on their dashboards while on duty to avoid parking fines.
Students and local residents quickly figured out the scheme and began to also place police patches, purchased from eBay, on the dashboards of their cars.
The patches stopped showing up on cars after the scheme was exposed by the media.