Monday, April 17, 2006

Chevy Chase to police: Roust them not us
Ticketing in Chevy Chase draws fire

By Amy Doolittle

Chevy Chase residents say they are getting more than they bargained for now that the Metropolitan Police Department is providing steady, overnight patrols in their Northwest neighborhood. They say officers are ticketing their vehicles for everything from parking too close to a driveway to having improperly affixed stickers.

"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."…

"We have our share of vandalism," said Chevy Chase resident Sue Hemberger. "You have days where you have three dozen cars in a row get hit, so there's thefts from auto and vandalism. ... It seems unreasonable to me to demand more enforcement and then complain when you get it."

Officials with the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3/4G said residents should not complain to the police department because officers could be reassigned to areas with higher violent-crime rates.

"On the one hand, we can complain about it," said Cris Fromboluti, a commissioner with ANC 3/4G. "But on the other hand, if we complain that [police officers] are here, maybe they will be taken away. And we don't want that."

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