Valparaiso parking ticket payments go online

An online payment option might not take away the sting of getting a parking ticket, but it will add convenience in paying fines.
online 4ee7e262eab7e.preview-300.jpgSgt. Mike Grennes, public information officer for the Valparaiso Police Department, said those issued parking tickets in the city no longer have to pay tickets in person. A new feature on the department's website uses technology from an outside vendor that allows people to use credit and debit cards to pay parking tickets.

"Hopefully it's going to make it more convenient for people," Grennes said.

Grennes said by following a link on the department's website, people can agree to payment terms -- and a $3.50 service charge -- then enter their ticket number and license plate number to pay parking fines.

The $3.50 goes to the company providing the service, he said. Residents who prefer to pay in person can still do so, he said. The department will continue to take cash and checks as payment during business hours.

Grennes said the new program can only be used for parking tickets and not for speeding tickets or other department-issued infractions.

Dawn McCulloch, who handles parking enforcement for the department, said technology has been improving accuracy and efficiency in issuing tickets.

While she used to put a chalk mark on tires of cars parked downtown, she now uses an electronic pad to enter the license plates along with an automated time stamp and GPS location to ensure drivers aren't skirting the city's parking restrictions.
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