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Dear PoPville – Calling police on the police?

by Prince Of Petworth — February 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm 19 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Island_DC

Dear PoPville,

It was coincidental that I just read the piece on calling the cops on diplomats as the past week I have been trying to figure out how to call the cops on a cop.

There is an SUV that has been parking illegally on Albemarle Street, NW – directly in between two No Parking signs. I called 311 once, but after going to take photos the third night the car was parked I saw a sticker on the back that said “Police Inspector” and the license plate is obviously a city-issued plate. The spot is illegal because it creates a dangerous blind spot for cars exiting the driveway there and for the cars coming down Albemarle. But I find it unlikely that the police would ticket one of their own. How do I expose this blatant and dangerous hypocrisy of an illegally parked police vehicle?

  • John M

    Good luck getting something done about an illegally parked police vehicle, but the DC Govt has an office dealing with police complaints:


  • Anonymous

    Submit the photo to a popular local DC blog(s)?

    • Anonymous

      Truth but be sure to complain on a post the cops will actually read.

      I complained on a post about Kathy Lanier about the cop who always parked illegally on 10th and Holmead and it seemed they got the message within a few days.

  • Anonymous

    Two years ago a DC Government issued car was entirely blocking the crosswalk and the ramp for disabled persons to get on and off the road. Was there when I entered the movie and remained there until after the movie. It was disgusting.

    Two weeks later, on 16th street, NW, a female cop was talking on her cell phone as she held it in her hand (no hands free).

  • anon

    Luckily, the police don’t usually write parking citations (although they have the authority) – DPW does. I’m not sure how that call would be routed, but I would imagine that that if you did it through the 311 app, it would go straight to DPW. I used to work for a city agency and people in my department have received parking tickets before (and have even been towed) while using city vehicles. That being said, parking enforcement is generally a little more lenient with city vehicles, so your mileage may vary.

  • Dave

    Just email Chief Lanier. She will take care of it. Complained about illegal police parking many times.

  • saf

    Talk to the PSA lieutenant.

  • JGK

    Write to the listserve for your police district. That can be found here: http://mpdc.dc.gov/node/211702 The District Commanders and their minions tend to be active in monitoring and responding to posts and complaints.

  • Fonzy

    Do the neighborly DC thing and leave a nasty note on the windshield…

    • …in lipstick. (Hard to wipe off.)

  • Anonymous

    There’s a cop that lives on 13th Street in Logan circle near the BP station that parks illegally every night.

    • Thomas M

      I live a few blocks away and I asked the Officer why he was allowed to park illegally – he told me that he would prefer to take up an illegal spot, as opposed to a legitimate spot that a resident could park in. I apologized and mentally promised myself to never get upset about police cars parking illegally again.

      • Anonymous

        But illegal spots are illegal for a reason – limiting visibility, making it difficult for buses to turn, etc. So he’s not being some great and generous guy, he just wants to find an easy parking spot and is willing to compromise safety for others to do it. I’m not impressed.

      • Identified

        There is no such thing as an illegal spot.

        He should be ticketed for such parking, and he should stop doing so immediately. He is a resident, he should park legally.

        If he cannot do so, he should get rid of his car. And if he is parking a cruiser – he should not bring a cruiser home from work if he cannot legally park it.

      • Anonymous

        I live in the Logan Circle neighborhood and think I know the car in question. In this instance, they don’t block any blind spots at all. I have always assumed they choose the illegal (but safe) spot to free up limited parking for residents. I’m OK with that trade off (within these limits) but can also only imagine the PoP traffic that a police cruiser was taking up one of “their” neighborhood parking spaces.

        • Anonymous

          Let us also not forget there is not some great genius behind DC’s parking regulations. There are any number of would-be parking spots that are nonsensically prohibited for parking. Many of these are DC’s famous “parking ticket trap” spots–those with intentionally misleading or completely contradictory signs.

          I hate to say it, but it sounds like the Logan Circle cop is using pretty sound logic and the LC resident is having trouble seeing the forrest through the trees.

          The OP is right, though, and Chief Lanier, or the district commander should be notified if a police vehicle is parked illegally in a truly dangerous way.

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of the blizzard. Cop parks in the middle of the plowed lane, just standing there talking to one of his buddies, causing folks to nearly get stuck in the snow trying to get around him. Just amazing what cops can do when they put their mind to it, or not.

    • anon

      Would that be the same blizzard during which an officer drew his firearm during a snowball fight…

  • maire

    A sticker on the back identified it as a police car? What agency? There are a dozen or more police agencies in DC. And there’s no reason why you can’t call 911 for an illegally parked car even if it says police inspector. To me this sounds like it could be a smaller agency or something just based on the description…

    People sure do overthink things around here 🙂


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