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Citizen FAQ

In an effort to efficiently communicate with our community, we've compiled a list of topics that are often asked about by community members. Please see below.

What should I do if I’m stopped on the street?

If a police officer stops you on the street, he or she has a reason. The officer may have reason to believe that you are in violation of the law. It’s also possible that a crime was committed nearby and the officer thinks that you might be able to help.


What should I do if I’m pulled over in my car?

If you are driving a car and an officer signals you to stop, you must immediately pull over. Prior to an officer initiating a traffic stop, they evaluate where the safest location is for the stop to occur. It is at that point they activate their emergency equipment to signal you to stop. Stay in your car. If it’s dark, turn on the interior light. Do not leave your car unless directed to do so by the officer.

Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. The officer will request your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Police officers are trained to ask for identification first, then provide an explanation for the stop. Please provide the officer with the required documents. An MSU police officer will always inform you of the reason that you are being stopped.

When I am pulled over, why does the officer ask for identification first?

The officer is trained to do so. This is so the officer knows the name of the person they are contacting.

MCL 257.311 also states, “The licensee shall have his or her operator’s or chauffeur’s license, or the receipt described in section 311a, in his or her immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle, and shall display the same upon demand of any police officer, who shall identify himself or herself as such.”


When a car is stopped at night, why does the officer appear to “sneak up” on the driver and shine their lights into the car?

It is a safety precaution for the officer. Officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic and potential danger from inside the vehicle. The bright light illuminates the interior of the vehicle.


If I’m pulled over for a traffic violation, why do other police vehicles sometimes show up?

It is not uncommon for officers who are in close proximity to check on one another, even when they are not requested. Again, this is for safety concerns.


Why does the officer sit in the car for so long? What is the officer doing?

The officer usually takes the time to verify your driving status and vehicle registration. The officer does this as quickly as possible but there can sometimes be delays in the computer response. Additional time may be added if the officer chooses to issue any traffic citations.


I am stopped on a traffic stop and I’m carrying a concealed weapon, what is my responsibility to the officer at that time?

When carrying a concealed pistol, you should be aware of State Law. Additionally, you should be aware of MSU’s Ordinance regarding Firearms or Weapons.

Can I still park my moped at a bike rack or do I have to park in a moped space?

Mopeds (including, but not limited to ebikes and scooters) may not park at the bike racks effective August 1, 2018.


Do I have to register my moped to park in the moped spaces?

Yes. Mopeds must be registered at the MSU Parking Office. In order to register your moped with MSU DPPS, the moped must first be registered with the Secretary of State Office (SOS).


If the moped spaces are full, can I park in a car space?

No. Mopeds must be parked in marked designated moped parking spaces only. Non-affiliated drivers choosing to park in metered or pay-by-plate parking areas are not required to register their moped. However, metered parking must be paid during hours of operation.


How were moped parking locations selected?

All non-gated parking lots will have spaces designated for moped parking.

Vehicle detectors at gated lots are not able to register that a moped is present. Therefore, designated moped parking spaces cannot be installed in gated lots.


Will there be a way to secure my moped while it is parked in the parking lots?

In spaces that allow 24-hr moped parking, a small loop will be drilled into the pavement. U-locks and chain locks can be attached to these loops for secure parking.


Are motorcycle permits valid to park in moped spaces?

No, moped permits are required for parking in moped spaces and motorcycle permits are required to park in vehicle spaces. They are not interchangeable.

Where can I file a complaint or send a compliment regarding an interaction I had with an MSU Police officer?

Please contact us at 517-355-2221 and ask to speak with the shift supervisor or email us at You can also contact the Police Oversight Committee.

How can I pay a parking ticket?

You can pay it at the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety in the Parking Office, drop your payment in the 24-hour drop box in our lobby, make an online payment, or mail a check or money order payable to MSU, to the Parking Office.


My vehicle was towed on MSU's campus, where is it?

Vehicles may be retrieved, depending on the circumstances, from the MSU DPPS 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Along with a tow charge, storage fees may be accrued. Any and all other fees and fines, including unpaid parking violations, must be paid before picking up the impounded vehicle.

The owner of a vehicle has 24 hours to claim their vehicle, after which a fee of $8 per day will begin. For example, if a vehicle is towed on a Monday, the owner has a grace period of one day (Tuesday) to claim the vehicle. The $8 fee would begin on Wednesday.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and personal checks will be accepted for all towed vehicles, except vehicles which are towed for outstanding violations. When a vehicle has been towed for outstanding violations, personal checks are not accepted.

Where can I learn more about becoming a MSU Police Department officer?

Available jobs for police officers are posted through Careers @ MSU. You can also learn more on our Job Opportunities page.


Are there jobs available for students?

Yes. Information about student employment is on our Job Opportunities page.


Are there jobs available for civilians who are not students?

Yes. Available jobs for civilians are posted through Careers @ MSU. You can also learn more on our Job Opportunities page.

Does MSU Police and Public Safety offer a Citizen’s Police Academy?

Yes. Starting in September 2019, a Citizen’s Police Academy was offered to community members.


How would someone apply for MSU DPPS’s Citizen Police Academy?

Information can be found on this website by visiting the Citizen’s Police Academy page.