Apr 042005
 
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

Andee Barocas had just driven down a street on campus to pick up a friend when she was pulled over by an officer from the CSU Police Department, one of three law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction on campus.

The CSU Police Department officer reported Barocas' speed as 12 miles per hour above the speed limit and issued her a speeding ticket.

"I was shocked when they pulled me over. I feel like they were looking for someone to bust," said Barocas, a freshman open-option major. "I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

The CSU campus is actually governed by three different police departments: CSU Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services and the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Officers in all three jurisdictions have the ability to issue tickets anywhere in Larimer County, including the city of Fort Collins and the CSU campus.

"We are a full-service police department. We can write city, county and CSU tickets," said Yvonne Paez, the public information officer for CSUPD. "So many people think we can only write tickets on campus. They need to get out of that mentality."

There is a specific police department for CSU because, as Paez explained, it is the destination for thousands of people on a daily basis.

"We have to control traffic in one of the most congested places in the city. No where else are there 30,000 cars and people within a 1-mile radius trying to get to the same place," Paez said.

Rita Davis, spokesperson for Fort Collins Police Services, also said police officers have jurisdiction anywhere in the county.

"It is a lot of territory to cover. CSU is governed by CSUPD, but we are able to enforce any law in Fort Collins on the CSU campus because CSU is in the city limits. Drivers are not immune to being pulled over if they drive out of the city and into the county," Davis said.

All three departments can write the same types of tickets as defined in the Colorado Revised Statute, title 42. This includes all traffic violations.

CSUPD officers have an additional type of ticket available to them when citing a traffic violation on campus called a TEEP (Traffic Enforcement and Education Program) ticket, which is only issued on campus.

"TEEP was created for a few reasons. CSUPD does not receive any of the revenues from city or county tickets so there are a couple of advantages to a TEEP ticket," Paez said. "One, all the money is paid to CSUPD and stays at CSU and two, the TEEP ticket does not count points against your license. It doesn't have the potential to hike up insurance rates like other traffic tickets do."

Barocas received a TEEP ticket when she was pulled over.

"I was relieved when I found out that my ticket did not count against my license. The $50 fine just went straight to the school," Barocas said.

TEEP tickets are issued only on campus. Paez gave an example where an officer was going from the stadium to campus and saw a traffic violation. Because the violation occurred off campus a TEEP ticket would most likely not be issued, but rather a city or county ticket.

There are not any specific guidelines for officers to follow when determining whether or not to issue a TEEP, city or county ticket.

"The officer uses their own discretion. According to the driver's history and the type of violation, the officer will decide which ticket to issue. Every officer is different," Paez said.

While officers with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office have the ability to pull over drivers anywhere in Larimer County, and will do so if they witness a traffic violation, many times they will refer crimes to city police departments.

"If the offense is inside city limits, it is referred to the city, but we can pull over cars anywhere in the county," said Jason Bishop, an officer with the sheriff's office. "If a traffic violation occurs in the county and the officer follows the person into another jurisdiction, they can still be issued a citation from Larimer County because that is where the offense was committed."

Paez recognized how important it is for all drivers to drive safely on campus.

"I would like to make a plea to the public to drive as safely as possible," Paez said. "If all drivers were careful and courteous and weren't in such a hurry there would not be as many problems."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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