Your View: It’s time to rein in parking enforcement officers

Your View: It’s time to rein in parking enforcement officers

By Chris Daddio, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
My name is Chris Daddio, and although I am a resident of Fairfax County, I have been working in Old Town for the past four years. I am extremely concerned about the ethical conduct of your city’s parking enforcement officers.
These officers routinely treat citizens and visitors alike with disrespect that should embarrass a city that I believe has an outstanding reputation otherwise.

Officers routinely harass, insult, curse, and levy fines beyond their legal mandate in order to humiliate and degrade visitors. I have encountered officers laughing at drivers as the drivers walk out and inspect their ticket.
Instead of using parking enforcement to keep the city safe and maintain a general sense of order, officers maliciously follow vehicles in order to track people and double up tickets where possible.

I have had clients, friends and family members visit this great city, only to have their experience ruined by a parking enforcement officer intent on degrading the dignity and self-worth of the general public.

I understand that my complaint is unlikely to do anything, as that is the general trend. Parking enforcement officers understand that they will not be challenged, and that they are free to operate without concern for ethics, professionalism or respect for their fellow men and women.

I can no longer recommend that friends and family should visit Alexandria. I routinely hold meetings in Arlington County now, as it has become impossible to patronize Alexandria shops and restaurants without finding constant harassment at the hands of a parking enforcement officer.

I wish the restaurant owners of Alexandria the best, but until they stand up to the hostility and aggression of their civil servants, I cannot in good conscience spend more than a few minutes in the city.