4/17/2006DC: Police Target Low Crime Neighborhood for 3am Ticketing
Washington, DC police forced to issue parking tickets at 3am to maintain productivity quota.
With a murder rate six times greater than the national average, the city of Washington, DC has directed Metropolitan Police Department officers to maintain "productivity" goals at all times. In practice, this has meant police patrolling relatively safe neighborhoods like Chevy Chase are issuing citations to residents parked in front of their own homes at 3am.
"They have to show some type of productivity during the night," police Captain Willie Smith told the Washington Times. "We have anywhere from 30 to 40 officers working all night in the Second District, and there's two to four in that [area]. If they come in without any tickets, no arrests, no truck stops ... they could be challenged by their superiors."
Some Chevy Chase residents are complaining that they are being hit with tickets for trivial violations like parking less than the required distance from a driveway or intersection. The DC Department of Public Works is telling those who do not wish to receive tickets to purchase a copy of the city's complicated parking law, a document that is not provided on the city's website.
Other residents fear if they complain about the ticketing, they will lose police protection entirely. DC issued 1,724,557 parking tickets in 2005, the equivalent of three citations for every resident.
"The objection here is to action that is being taken in the middle of the night by a police department that appears to be focused on making a fast buck by skulking around while residents sleep," resident Simon Marks wrote on an online forum. "I have simply never heard of parking tickets being issued at 3 a.m. to residents who have parked their cars outside their own homes. It's senseless and not the kind of additional parking enforcement that will make any of us safer."Source: Ticketing in Chevy Chase draws fire (Washington Times, 4/17/2006)
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