Chief of Police On Fair Parking Enforcement

Parking Enforcement Insights and Advice from The Village of Chicago Ridge Chief of Police 

In a recent interview with Chief of Police James Jarolimek of The Village of Chicago Ridge, we gained valuable insights into why fair parking enforcement is indispensable for a community’s well-being and safety. 

Why is parking enforcement necessary? 

Chief Jarolimek emphasized that in a small community like The Village of Chicago Ridge, where residential areas intertwine with the downtown core, ensuring resident safety is paramount. Imagine the unease experienced by longtime residents when unfamiliar vehicles illegally occupy spaces in front of their homes. Such occurrences not only disrupt the sense of security but also pose potential hazards.  

Moreover, violations such as blocking handicap spots or fire lanes pose serious safety risks. Despite hefty fines, instances of such violations persist, particularly in areas like malls and multifamily residences. Additionally, adherence to parking regulations, such as resident-only spaces, is crucial for maintaining resident satisfaction and orderliness within the community.  

The Chief stressed that effective parking enforcement is the linchpin for addressing these issues. Striking a balance between enforcement that is neither overly punitive nor lax is key to achieving success in maintaining order and safety. 

Why did you change the way you enforce parking? 

Chief Jarolimek recounted the village’s journey in tackling parking violations. He mentioned a long-standing scofflaw list dating back to the 90s, with some fines totaling tens of thousands of dollars.  

Although the village had an immobilization ordinance, they never booted cars just because they owed money. Elected officials didn’t like the idea of taking someone’s car if it isn’t absolutely necessary, so towing was out of the question. There needed to be a solution that maintained a compassionate and ethical approach to enforcement, while also proving to be effective. 

The introduction of a balanced enforcement strategy not only enabled the village to address scofflaws effectively but also facilitated the recovery of revenue that is reinvested in community improvements. 

The Chief also noted that the village reduced the number of citations from 5 to 3 for scofflaw status, which is standard in most municipalities. This update can prevent citizens from accumulating exorbitant fine amounts, which they may not be able to pay. 

What other parking enforcement advice do you have? 

For companies undertaking parking enforcement on private property, Chief Jarolimek offered practical advice.  

  • Visible signage outlining parking rules is crucial to ensure compliance.  
  • Regular maintenance, such as repainting markings on handicap spaces and fire lanes, is essential to eliminate any excuse for violations.  

Not only does this clarity benefit visitors by informing them of the rules, but it also shields businesses from liability when rules are breached. 


Effective parking enforcement is not just about imposing fines; it’s about ensuring safety, order, and community satisfaction. The success story of The Village of Chicago Ridge underscores the importance of striking a balance in enforcement measures.  

To learn more about the village’s journey and their approach to fair and effective parking enforcement, click here. 

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