F.C. Police Chief Outlines Parking Enforcement Policy

October 30, 2013 6:24 PM2 comments

Falls Church Police Chief Mary Gavin came before the F.C. City Council Monday in response to a request from Vice Mayor David Snyder to deliver a report on the “ever so challenging” task of parking enforcement in the city. After almost exactly one year of effort by a part-time parking enforcement officer, she reported, 3,260 tickets have been issued, ten times more than in the past, and $150,000 in fines exacted.

Gavin said that “discretion is the life blood of the policy” in response to concerns from Snyder that citizens had reported being written tickets with $500 fines in the presence of a motorist who only momentarily stopped in a handicapped parking space, and a pattern of ticketing the cars of city residents that are parked in front of those residents’ homes more than three days. Councilman David Tarter complained that to challenge a ticket required spending hours in a courtroom while in other jurisdictions, challenges are handled by an administrative process. He also said that the city should move to installation of on-street parking meters.

Chief Gavin conceded that more attention to the issue has resulted in “both adding and deleting” parking spaces around town.




  • Is the councilman proposing parking meters in front of his own house or somebody else’s house?

  • Okay, more yellow journalism from the FCNP. David Snyder’s
    request is disingenuous and unimportant. Frankly, if this is news at all it
    should be that Mr. Snyder knew nothing about this practice. Can you tell us how
    many of the 3.260 tickets were issued to cars owned by city residents parked in
    front of their homes? That’s the issue.
    So in the real world this part time enforcement officer would call in a
    license plate and confirm whether a vehicle in question actually was legally
    parked in front of the residence. If this is not the procedure and this officer
    is indiscriminately ticketing at will then I would suggest that Chief Mary
    Gavin has a bigger problem. Nick, why do you write this stuff or allow it to be
    written without some facts?

    If this is really important to Mr. Snyder and Chief Mary
    Gavin then fix it. I applaud law enforcement in Falls Church. At the end of the
    day the jurisdiction is 2.1 square miles. I hope in the context of our small
    community that all you smart people can figure this out.

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