Get to Know Warrenton’s Parking Enforcement Officer Lea Pagliuca

Law Enforcement Profile

Law Enforcement Profile

Story and photos by Lindsay Hogeboom

For 17 years, Lea Pagliuca has resided in Virginia with her husband, Nick — 11 of which have been spent in living in Gainesville, but also often visiting downtown Warrenton. “[We] started coming down here for First Fridays and the Christmas parade,” she says. When Lea spotted a job posting on Indeed for parking enforcement officers with the Warrenton Police Department, she felt excited. She thought, “I can do this job,” and submitted her application.

In July 2019, Lea officially joined the Warrenton Police Department as the town’s parking enforcement officer. “I like structure. I like following the rules, and I like consistency,” she says — qualities which make her very well suited for the job.

Lea explains that she begins a typical day of work at the office, where she checks her voicemails and emails before getting her car and radio and driving up to Main Street. Once she’s downtown, “I start doing my rounds,” she says, which includes checking the timed parking spaces and making sure all cars are parked legally. “I keep an eye on the post office, [which has] five-minute parking. And we have one handicapped spot on Main Street — I’ll keep an eye on that.” In addition, Lea says she also looks for up-to-date inspections and registration tags.

Another aspect of Lea’s job — her favorite part — is public outreach. “I just love talking to everybody. I love meeting people,” she says. She notes that sometimes, people can be a bit apprehensive when they first see her on patrol because they want to be sure they are abiding by the rules. They will ask, “Was I supposed to pay for parking?” or “Is it okay to park here?” But Lea says that once they get to talking, most people relax and enjoy getting to know their local parking enforcement officer. To help facilitate friendly conversations, Lea carries faux badges for kids and dog treats for four-legged family members in her fanny pack. “I get to talk to a lot of kids and families. I also get to pet a lot of dogs,” she says with a smile.

Lea also says that her community outreach carries over into parking enforcement. “I would rather work with someone and talk to them, or even educate them, if I can,” than give them a ticket, she says. “Most people are very responsive.”

One statement Lea playfully tells people she meets is, “Don’t make me do my job!” She says her best advice to accomplish this is for drivers to “slow down and pay attention,” especially on Main Street where people are often getting in and out of cars parked along the street or navigating the many crosswalks. And, Lea’s second bit of advice is simple — park where you’re supposed to. “It’s [for] safety,” she says. One example she provides is no parking zones near crosswalks, because backing out of a spot into a crosswalk can create an unsafe environment for pedestrians.

In her spare time, Lea enjoys spending time with her husband and her five-year-old golden retriever, Raylan. The three enjoy outdoor activities together, such as hiking at Buzzard Rock in Front Royal. Lea says she and her family also enjoy spending time in the community where she works, frequenting many of the restaurants and shops in downtown Warrenton. “I like to support small businesses,” she says.

As for where Lea parks: “usually in timed parking,” she says. Lea holds herself accountable to the same rules she enforces, and will move her car from lot to lot throughout the day as necessary. “Today, I put myself in three-hour parking, but then I moved it to all-day [parking] because I knew I was meeting with you. So I make sure my car is moved [too].”

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