UK Police’s student ticket checks sidestep ‘real’ campus issues



Column by Austin Schmitt. E-mail

If I was a robber terrorizing UK’s campus, I know the perfect time to commit a robbery: during a UK football game.

In all reality, though, the potential robber could strike campus at any moment and get away with it.

However, for the sake of the next 500 or so words, let’s pretend this campus is actually safe.

So a robber decides they want to commit a robbery. For all intensive purposes, this attempted robbery occurs during a UK football game. What do you think UK Police were doing during this “robbery”?

Let’s start from the beginning. At the beginning of the game, UK Police were harassing students about their student IDs. I know there’s a big black market for fake student IDs going around. So for any of you students who needs a new ID, you should look into it.

During the game, UK Police then turned into ticket patrol. Two officers walked up to the student section during the second half of the game and started demanding students to prove that they had tickets. Some of the game attendees were actually forced to move seats and rows.

Just to clear things up, this was in the second half of the game when a lot of the fans had already left the game and seats weren’t at a premium.

After seeing that exhibition of police force Saturday night, I now understand why students are afraid to walk the streets of this campus. It’s because UK Police perform real police work like checking student IDs and tickets.

Not that ensuring every patron is in the correct seat isn’t important, but when students are getting robbed at gunpoint on the other side of campus, ticket policing shouldn’t take priority.

This is the problem I have with this whole crime situation. Like I said two weeks ago, after it took five robberies for UKPD to address the issue, this situation should not be taken lightly.

After five robberies, UKPD finally did address the issue. They said they would increase patrols and work more with the Lexington Police to give the illusion that safety was a priority.

Increasing officers is a nice thing, but how long will this last?

Like most incidents, the initial reaction will be a big push to get things “back to normal.” But, what is normal?

Do five armed robberies and multiple home break-ins occur on a normal campus?

It is obvious that this issue will not go away. The campus e-mail sent out on Monday listing multiple incidents over the past month is humbling, to say the least. To think that these things have been occurring and we as students weren’t made aware of them until after the fact, leaves me with no confidence in the government department commonly known as, “the police.”

UK always claims to have a good relationship with the Lexington Police so why weren’t these incidents reported earlier? Our right to know and ability to protect ourselves exceeds any other kind of motivation in this circumstance.

I was wrong to think five robberies would actually be a wake-up call. After seeing the exhibition of police force on Saturday at the football game, students should be worried about walking around this campus.

So here you go students, your police force has resorted to checking student IDs and making sure everyone is in the correct seat. Be on the lookout this Saturday when the Cats take on Georgia. You never know when you will be subject to a ticket check.