Dear PoPville – Cop Week Parking Enforcement


“Dear PoPville,

The annual kerfuffle over general lawlessness during Cop Week has already gotten some press this week on PoP.  I thought it might be worth adding to the discussion by noting an enforcement problem on the MPD side of things.  The SeeClickFix site has received numerous complaints of foreign law enforcement parking illegally.  See e.g.,:

The back and forth between the citizens and MPD–with the complaints being repeatedly closed then reopened–that was required to get them to finally issue tickets is really something.  Enough so that it prompted me to go and look up the citations on DC’s ticket system.  Lo and behold, the tickets that were reported to close the complaints do not correspond to the license plates of the offending cars and trailers.

I was curious as to whether this is a problem of MPD trying to give our visitors “professional courtesy” or a larger issue with the SeeClickFix site.  It appears that it may be a larger issue.  See e.g.,

In each case the online ticket system reports the ticket having been issued to a different license plate than is visible in the picture.  Does MPD/parking enforcement just report any random recent ticket in order to close the SeeClickFix complaints?

If you run Ticket #8127714136 through the DC ticket database, it returns a result for a MD car with license plate #2AZ1236.  But the car and trailer that were noted in the online complaint have Texas and Mass. plates (see the third Q&A in the complaint).  Another complaint was made about the same car and trailer the next day (this time only noting that the truck has Texas plates).  The ticket number supposedly issued to the truck to close that complaint, #8127269975, returns a ticket issued to another MD car, this time with license plate #8BE3378.

For the second set of links that I provided, regarding the contractor and the shuttle bus, their license plates are visible in the pictures linked to the online complaint.  However, the ticket numbers issued, as reported in the comments, are for different license plate numbers.

26 Comment

  • wow that was kinda harsh. I admit that was a lot of detail but I can see why folks are annoyed with the cop week parking issues …seems to be happening a lot all over the city.

  • I looooove this obsessive snooping! I never thought about comparing the ticket # to the license plate. Genius!

    It’s incredibly annoying that these out-of-state cops are getting away with this. It’s bad enough when ours do it, but it’s ten times worse when people who are clearly not on any official business try it.

  • This is not MPD giving the tickets, it is DDOT… To file a complaint go to

    • This is not correct.
      As far as I’m aware, it’s DPW (not DDOT) that issues “regular” parking tickets (for things like expired meters, violating rules on zoned parking, etc.) and MPD that issues more “emergency”-type parking tickets (blocking a fire hydrant, in a fire lane, etc.).

      • Correct. DPW. For overnight ROSA violations, DDOT will go by, one percent of the time. The fine officers of the MPD are much too busy and important to write tickets. They refuse when asked. That is, when you get to ask them — which means forcing them to look up from their phones as they drive past.

  • This is very interesting. Can POP get an official response? I wonder whether somebody’s getting a ticket they didn’t deserve and whether there are repercussions to someone closing an issue with the wrong ticket. Neat use of technology for accountability.

    As for the original dispute, I don’t like anyone involved. The visitors abusing parking, the citizens nagging online, or the police improperly closing the complaint. They’re not all equal but … it’s depressing that it’s come to this.

    • It is silly nagging to complain about the illegal parking….BUT, it seems like the ticketing agency (or at least the person responding to the complaints online) did try to make the issue disappear ….and that’s reprehensible. It’s always the cover-up that’s bigger than the original issue.

      If you look at the link the OP provided, you can see that the ticketing agency tried to close the case by citing the vehicle was a police vehicle with valid placard, but when the complainant kept re-opening the complaint under the argument that a NJ police vehicle is not on official business, the agency tried to make the issue go away and cover it up.

      • Oh I agree. That’s what I meant by “not all equal”. I also agree that the original post is impressive. No argument about the cover up either. That’s part of why why I’d love an official reply …

  • houseintherear

    This discovery is pretty awesome… perhaps we should forward this post to parking enforcement and see what they have to say?! Or maybe to a local news station?

  • Cops Week is a hard week to be in DC — these parking complaints are right on. It’s like they forget that this is a real, functioning city with rules and regulations that should be followed — and that they are not immune.

    I was crossing the street downtown a few days ago (I had the walk signal) and a group of cops on motorcycles were mad when they got stopped at the light. They threw on their sirens and lights and ran the red light, scaring the crap out of pedestrians in the crosswalk and jamming up the street that did have the light. They got all of about 50 feet past the intersection when they turned off the sirens.

    Stuff like that is why I can’t support these groups coming here and running roughshod over residents.

    • I was out walking near the Convention Center yesterday and saw two different out-of-state police vehicles use their lights and sirens just to get through a busy intersection quickly rather than having to wait patiently like everybody else. I also found it ironically humorous when a fully uniformed officer from somewhere else made some disparaging comments about drivers not deferring to him as he walked across a busy intersection (against a no walk sign) as he was on his way to the Marriott. You’d think they’d realize that this ego tripping sense of entitlement does nothing to enhance their image.

    • Perhaps some letters to the organizers of Cop Week asking them to ask their participants to be a little more respectful of the city they are visiting?

  • First off, the police WILL NOT ticket other police. They won’t ticket MPD for parking their private cars on the sidewalk or the lawn of their own police stations. They won’t ticket police vehicles from other jurisdictions either. Check any hotel downtown – last night there was a row of 40+ police motorcycles in the bus lane in front of the new Mega-Marriott, and another dozen illegally parked police vehicles around the new Cambria Suites. Not a single ticket anywhere, and when I saw an elderly man trying to get around a police car blocking the handicapped ramp flag down an MPD officer and ask him to ticket it, the officer actually said “I’m sure he’ll move in a little while” and kept right on driving. The feeling of entitlement among police officers to disregard traffic laws whenever they feel like it is unyielding and our police will NEVER do a thing about it other than giggle at silly citizens who actually want laws enforced.
    Second, SeeClickFix and 311 is a complete and total joke. They just close tickets without doing anything 50%+ of the time. I’ve requested that the same light pole that has most of its paint peeled off and is starting to rust badly to be repaired every month on the first of the month since September. Every single ticket has been closed out as “complete” and yet nothing has ever been done. The idea that they are just randomly assigning tickets to complaints to close them is not surprising in the slightest.
    But no, illegally parked cop cars will never, ever, ever get a ticket. They are more likely to be hit by a fallen piece of debris from the International Space Station.

    • never used seeclickfix, but 311 is a total joke in this regard — complaints are constantly closed with no action and the comments are often complete lies. Case in point: a HUGE shipping container was parked directly in front of my home with no permit for over a week (blocked all the natural and streetlight coming into the first floor of my house). Opened a case on 311 — 15 minutes later it was closed and said the “vehicle was no longer at the reported location” while it was still sitting right in front of my house. I opened another case, closed again 15 minutes later saying a ticket was issued…another lie as I was sitting on my front porch the whole time and no one came by. Frustrating for our gov’t to use our tax dollars to build these reporting systems when they are completely useless…

      • “311 Is A Joke”? 😉
        My experiences with 311 haven’t been quite as bad, but I agree that it’s frustrating when things are inaccurately closed out (hello, illegal posters plastered on the streetlight bases near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro!) or when the city takes so long to investigate the problem that it’s no longer there by the time they get there.

  • i smell a conspiracy!!
    : puts tin foil hat on :

  • “Professional courtesy” starts with not issuing tickets and ends with cops with a history of domestic abuse killing their wives:

    There should zero-tolerance for this type of “professional courtesy”.

    • I’m not sure your logic flows. Though I often wonder when 7-11 lets me have free coffee (national policy) whether that is my gateway drug to full-scale bribery and coke theft. I’ll let you know.

      • I like you, Anon MPD.

        • Aw shucks. If I had feelings and wasn’t a tool of the state, that would warm the cockles of my heart. 🙂

          • 7-11 is just using the free coffee, to get you in there so they can sell you their stale donuts… =)

            and, I have to say that Police (Cop) Week should be just like any other of the hundreds/thousands conferences, ect that happen here all year round. They should respect and obey the rules of the city, like anyone else. To a large degree, they should be leading by example, if they wish to be respected.

      • Nice try and extra bonus point for making fun of domestic abuse victims. Obviously, not all parking violators become serial killers, but had you bothered to read the article you would have realized that the cover-up problem is serious. Although, it is comforting to know that MPD officers treat this type of thing as a joke. FYI – I’m not anti-cop, I just believe that people who society chooses to entrust power, should be held to a higher standard.

  • Ugh, Police Week…where DC is flooded with cops openly carrying guns literally everywhere they go. Sorry I don’t want to walk down the street or be in a restaurant and see throngs of people with guns they don’t have jurisdiction to use…

  • You can’t ticket those trucks with Massachusetts plates because BostonStrong.

  • Just like when cops are put on “administrative leave” and their buddies are put in charge of “investigating” them. Nothing will happen. Cops have cops’ backs. It’s a systemic problem.

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