The Front Royal Police Department plans to set up speed cameras in some school zones.

Chief Kahle Magalis presented information to the Town Council and mayor at their work session Monday regarding his department’s plans to set up the traffic calming equipment in certain school zones.

“Obviously, speeding’s been a big topic around town, heard a lot about it the past several months,” Magalis said.

Mayor Lori A. Cockrell, Vice Mayor R. Wayne Sealock and council members Melissa DeDomenico-Payne, Joshua L. Ingram, Amber F. Morris, H. Bruce Rappaport and Duane R. “Skip" Rogers attended the work session.

Jurisdictions around the state are starting to install speed cameras in school zones, Magalis said.

“When you see somebody speeding and kids standing on the side of the road, it’s obviously cause for a little more concern,” Magalis said. “So one of the ways we can kind of find a force multiplier, you know, I’ve only got five cops on the street at a time that are out patrolling and we have more school zones than that ...”

The chief went on to explain that even if he assigned an officer to each school zone from 7-8 a.m, it takes 15 minutes to conduct a traffic stop. An officer could write three or four speeding tickets while vehicles “keep zipping by.” The citations for speeding issued from the camera information are civil, not criminal violations, Magalis said.

The police department would like to install speed cameras on Luray Avenue for the Skyline Middle School zone, Criser Road for Ressie Jeffries Elementary School, Leach Run Parkway for Warren County Middle School and Strasburg Road for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School.

Rogers urged Magalis to consider putting a camera on Chester Street, which he said can be a “hellacious road”

“And they all are,” Magalis said.

Cockrell asked if pupils walk on Strasburg Road to A.S. Rhodes. Magalis said pupils walk from the nearby mobile home park. The chief added that drivers also need to watch out for vehicles entering and exiting the school on Strasburg Road.

The cameras would take photographs of vehicles that violate the speed limits in the school zones. A department office would review the citations. The department then would issue the citations for civil penalties by mail.

The department is considering a vendor for the cameras that sends engineers to inspect and make sure school zones are properly marked, Magalis said. The vendor holds a public-information campaign before they start installing cameras, that includes providing materials for the department’s website and social media accounts. There’s a 30-day grace period once the cameras are online during which violators receive a warning. Enforcement begins after the grace period, Magalis said.

Also at the work session, officials talked about other items they plan to consider at the May 22 meeting.

• Council members scheduled a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission for May 22 on a request by Dynamic Life Ministries LLC for a special-use permit to allow a single grave site cemetery in the organization’s churchyard at 1600 John Marshall Highway. Church leaders have asked that they be allowed to inter their founder and pastor, the late Walter Carlton Rogers, on the property.

• Council members have fast-tracked the permitting process. Members held a special meeting on May 1 and voted to approve a change to the town zoning ordinance to allow cemeteries by special-use permit in the R-3 Residential District. The property is zoned residential and the church needed the change in order to seek the permit. Council members acknowledged at the meeting that they needed to act on the permit fast.

• Also at the work session, council members discussed a request to make a change to the current budget ending June 30. Finance Director B.J. Wilson told council that the town received $480,000 more in revenue than budgeted for the fiscal year. The amendment would reflect the additional revenue. Council also would be asked to approve a transfer of $248,000 from the budget’s general fund to the street fund. The action would allocate the additional funds so the town can move forward with creating a transportation plan, for paving and the Criser Road Sidewalk projects.

The $480,000 is comprised of $205,000 in additional meals-tax revenue; $50,000 in sales tax, $63,000 from Warren County payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) fees; $30,000 from business occupational professional licensing fees; and $132,000 from the street construction and maintenance.

• The Front Royal Police Department has requested that it be allowed to use $36,000 in asset-forfeiture funds to replace its standard-issue firearm. The weapons are now 10 years old, and the department has used the .45-caliber Glock 21 for 20 years. The department intends to stay with Glock but would move to the 9mm-caliber ammunition as well as the enhanced optics of an RMR sighting system along with its standard sights.

The department would need to buy and train on additional equipment such as holsters and weapon-lighting systems.

– Contact Alex Bridges at

(3) comments


With the regards to the speed cameras.

I live on Mount View St. Front Royal and speed needs to be tracked from the top of the hill to the bottom of Criser Rd. There are a lot of students walking on that road as well as residents from Commonwealth Senior Living. A lot of the speeding on this street is from the School Buses that travel this street. The drivers are at least going 40mph. That needs to be addressed as well.

Thank you,

Marc Trice


They need to do this in Frederick County, especially along Fairfax Pike at Warrior (for Sherando) and along Aylor Road (for Bass-Hoover). People drive entirely too fast through both school zones.


Did anyone, or will anyone, stand up for due process of law?

Welcome to the discussion.

We will consider two submissions per writer per month. Letters: 250 or fewer words. Commentaries: Under 500 words. You may submit a photo with a Commentary if you like. Email submissions to