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WPPD, CCSD clarify towing procedures

July 2, 2014

BY JOSH PRESLEY
news@dailytimesleader.com

When a citizen is arrested in a traffic violation or stopped at a routine traffic stop only to find there’s an active warrant out on them, there’s always the question of what will happen to their car.
West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said the West Point Police Department has received many questions about the department’s authority to have the vehicles towed. He said he wants the public to be aware that once a person is taken into custody, their property becomes WPPD’s responsibility.
“Usually the first thing the person wants us to do is call somebody they know the pick up their car so they won’t have wrecker bill,” Brinkley said. “The officer has the authority to exercise discretion in those cases, but it’s our policy that we can’t stand there and wait if it’s going to take a long time for someone to come get the vehicle.”
He said if WPPD is experiencing downtime the officer can wait a few minutes, but if the department is getting a lot of emergency calls, the officer can’t stand by.
“Usually we ask the car owner if they have a request for a certain wrecker service, and we’ll honor that request,” Brinkley said. “If they don’t, we call the next wrecker service on rotation and they’ll store it securely until the person is released and can get their vehicle back.”
He said the same rules apply when the driver of the vehicle is not the owner. Whoever is operating the vehicle is the one in control of the vehicle, according to Brinkley.

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