by Joe King
In a move aimed at simplifying customer service and increasing safety, Parking Services is now part of NIU Public Safety.
“After the parking services coordinator resigned this spring, we decided that this would be a good opportunity to more closely coordinate parking and safety issues,” said Bob Albanese, associate vice president for finance and facilities, whose responsibilities included parking until this change. “It just makes sense for Parking Services and Public Safety to be more closely aligned.”
Previously, the relationship between those two units confused some people.
On the one hand, Parking Services was charged with the administration of parking permits, maintenance of lots and creating policies to govern parking. On the other, those who patrolled the lots looking for parking violations reported to Public Safety.
The difference was not always obvious, sometimes leading to frustrations for individuals who didn’t know which office to visit, Parking Services or Public Safety.
Under the new structure, anything having to do with parking now occurs at the Parking Services office at Lincoln Terrace and Normal Road. The new director, when hired, will report directly to Chief of Police and Public Safety Donald Grady.
The new arrangement also will allow Public safety to be more influential when making decisions about upgrades to campus parking facilities, ensuring that the design takes into account safety features such as adequate lighting, the use of proper landscaping to allow for natural surveillance and other safety considerations.
“Where parking is located and how it’s designed improves the public’s ease of movement and contributes to public safety,” said Lt. Todd Henert who is helping to guide the transition, “so this is a natural fit.”