Street camera misused during Arlington water main break repairs

Arlington County officials are investigating an unusual incident involving a county employee responsible for operating street cameras. 

The investigation was prompted by a report from FOX 5, which brought the matter to the county's attention.

The incident occurred amid emergency repairs on South Walter Reed Drive, just north of South Four Mile Run Drive, following a significant water main break. The rupture of a 16-inch pipe led to a washout beneath the street surface, resulting in a boil water advisory for parts of south Arlington County.


Arlington water main break prompts boil water advisory, school closures

A water main break in Arlington closed several schools in the area Friday and prompted officials to issue a boil water advisory.

While monitoring the situation using the county's street camera system, FOX 5 observed one camera diverting its focus away from the emergency repairs to a woman standing near the scene. The woman was identified as a reporter for WDVM. 

The camera operator was seen focusing the lens on her for several minutes, scanning her body from head to toe.

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Local residents expressed concern over the inappropriate use of the street camera. 

"I would rather they be watching what's going on that actually matters," said Kelsey Trudo who lives in Arlington. 

Another resident echoed similar sentiments, stating that such behavior is unacceptable, especially in a professional capacity.

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A statement from WDVM condemned the camera operator's actions. 

"On the surface, this appears to be inappropriate interest from a county camera operator, especially while acting in a professional capacity. We look forward to the full story and any investigation that would follow," said WDVM VP and General Manager David Bangura. "We expect any employer would have concerns and questions about such a matter."

Bangura praised the reporter involved, noting that despite the unwarranted attention to her physical appearance, she remains a tenacious and dedicated professional. 

"We’re very proud of our reporters. Unfortunately, in our industry females are subjected to a lot of attention on their physical appearance. Our reporters are tenacious, dedicated to their craft, and are valued community members.  We are very proud to have them represent DC News Now." Bangura added.

The investigation by Arlington County is ongoing, and officials have not yet released further details regarding the incident or potential actions against the employee involved.

A spokesperson for the county sent FOX 5 a statement saying, "Arlington County staff from multiple departments used the traffic cameras to assess traffic and trail impacts related to the water main break this morning. We take this situation seriously and are investigating. Pending the results of the investigation, we will take any appropriate personnel action."