By Bridget Duncan /  Staff writer

 

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Some of the cart drivers who enforce parking laws on the campuses are students working part time and getting experience toward their criminal justice degree, a parking enforcement officer said Tuesday, June 24.
Soksophanaroth Mao, 19, a business major, applied for the position after his uncle, a Long Beach police officer, talked him into it.
After a month of driving as a passenger with a parking enforcement officer and some computer training, Mao has been driving his own cart for two months, enjoying the breeze it gives him on a hot day, he said.
“You’re pretty much like a hall monitor,” Mao said from his white Taylor Dunn cart, seated next to a bottle of water with sweat forming on his forehead.
Although Mao added some days are unusual, such as coming across a dog sleeping in a student’s car, finding a parking receipt on a car with the date changed in pen, a note left for two months on the same car asking not to be ticketed and an angry female student who tried to hit Mao with her car after being ticketed, missing him by only a step.
Wishing to stay anonymous for safety reasons, parking enforcement officer said that students must complete 12 units prior to applying to the parking enforcement program.
“If you’re a criminal justice major and you want to be a cop, this is one job you want to experience because you wear a uniform,” the parking enforcement officer said.
The carts, which go 10-15 mph, are driven by parking services department employees to write parking tickets, assist students, drive handicapped students, call into dispatch any problems on the campuses and assist during special events such as graduation, the officer said.
The officer said the drivers have had things thrown at them and have had their cars keyed in the parking lot.
John Meyer, the coordinator of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and Parking Services, said, “Not everyone is happy to get a ticket.”
The officers “Have a job to do. They need to not take it personally and take the high road.”
Meyer said the officers work in conjunction with the Long Beach Police Department and said many of them move on to become police officers and deputy sheriffs. Meyer added a woman in the program became a public works employee in parking enforcement.
If students are interested in the program Meyer said as long as they have the required 12 units and a valid driver’s license, they can apply for the two positions he is trying to fill by calling him at (562) 938-4713.
LBCC parking fees for cars and motorcycles in designated student lots will increase during Fall 2014 from $25 to $30 and the daily rate will increase from $1 to $2.
You can purchase a parking permit online or at the Cashiers office.  If you paid the parking fees online a parking permit will be mailed to your home. Student parking is free in student spaces during the first two weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters.