SPOKANE, Wash. – A renewed effort to get rid of junky, abandoned cars in Spokane neighborhoods was a topic of discussion at Monday night’s City Council meeting,
The new motion proposes giving code enforcement the power to impound those deserted vehicles.
Spokane Police said they receive dozens of reports of abandoned cars each week. Not only are they an eyesore, they bring down property values and stretch the police department thin.
“One impound can take close to one hour. When you have multiple vehicles that are called in every single day, they pile up,” said SPD Chief Craig Meidl.
Meidl estimated there is a three-week backlog of abandoned cars to tow.
As it stands, code enforcement handles the paperwork for deserted cars, but police need to be on hand when the tow truck arrives.
“We’ve been working to work through the system of quickly responding to them, versus the caseload that officers already have to deal with,” said Meidl.
Under the new proposal, SPD hopes to soon transfer all abandoned car duties to code enforcement.
Meidl said the benefits would be threefold; it will free up police officers, give code enforcement more authority for neighborhood issues and would speed up the time it takes to get abandoned cars out of local neighborhoods.
“Although there will be some overlap, it will still reduce the time to get those vehicles off the road,” said Meidl.
City lawmakers are set to vote on the proposal the second week of June.