To ensure that its policies are consistent with the city council's directives and that it can hold its officers accountable for them, the Department should immediately update its towing policy to reflect the March 2014 city council resolution that officers not tow for minor traffic offenses if the vehicle is legally parked, registered, and insured; that officers must receive sergeant authorization for all tows; and that the Department provide monthly tow reports to the city manager. The Department should also specify in its policy that officers must receive two trainings each year on the updated towing policy.
Issued Patrol Directive 16-01 with changes to tow policy to include not towing for minor offenses criteria, sergeant approval, and a tow report must be generated monthly for Council and City Manager. Included in the policy was a section for officers receiving training on tow policy twice per year.
The Department's patrol directive generally reflects the March 2014 city council resolution by requiring supervisor approval to tow or impound a vehicle, providing monthly tow reports to the city manager, and ensuring all patrol staff receive training at least twice each year. Although the patrol directive does not specifically restrict officers from towing a vehicle for minor offenses, it does require the chief to review the monthly towing activity to ensure all tows comply with the intent of the city council tow direction and spirit regarding unlicensed drivers. We believe this component addresses the final element of the city council's resolution, but provides flexibility to officers when determining the necessity of towing a vehicle for minor traffic offenses.
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