Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S07-03-01
Vehicle Towing Operations
Issue Date:02 November 2005Effective Date:03 November 2005
Index Category:Processing Property
This directive:
  • A.prescribes the use and distribution of Department and non-Department forms associated with towing operations.
  • B.outlines procedures and responsibilities relating to the automotive pounds and the Auto Pound Section Administrative Hearings.
Department members will refer to the General Order titled "Vehicle Towing Operations" for towing operations and responsibilities.
II.Automotive Pounds Responsibilities
  • A.Chicago Police Department (CPD) Automotive Pounds Section Headquarters personnel will:
    • 1.control the inventories and processes of the Automotive Pounds Section.
    • 2.supervise the release, hold, or disposal of towed vehicles.
  • B.CPD Pound Supervisors of the Automotive Pounds Section will:
    • 1.supervise all civilian and sworn personnel assigned to CPD pounds.
    • 2.supervise the inventory, appropriate security, appraisal, and release or disposal of vehicles which have been towed.
    • 3.ensure the expeditious release of tow truck operators for the next assignment.
    • 4.ensure that assigned personnel check all UTO vehicles to determine the VIN and to ascertain if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
  • C.CPD Automotive Pounds Section personnel will:
    • 1.provide security for their assigned Auto Pound and for vehicles impounded therein.
    • 2.prepare, in duplicate, a Discrepancy Report if there is a discrepancy between the information on the Vehicle Tow Report and the physical inventory of the vehicle at the time of arrival at the pound or between the information on the Motor Vehicle Inventory Report and the physical condition of the vehicle during the period of time that the vehicle was impounded at the pound. The original copy of the Discrepancy Report will be sent to the Automotive Pounds Section Headquarters.
    • 3.check all UTO vehicles to determine the VIN and to ascertain if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
    • 4.prepare a Motor Vehicle Inventory Report for each vehicle impounded and stamp "Derelict" on the report, when applicable.
    • 5.release impounded derelict vehicles to processors by completing a Contract Sales form, as authorized by Automotive Pounds Section Headquarters.
    • 6.release vehicles to owners or lienholders after collecting towing and storage fees and issuing a Receipt for Impounded Vehicle for same. Vehicles will be released to lienholders only after the Commanding Officer, Automotive Pounds Section has been provided with a Conditional Sales Contract, a copy of the title, and a notarized letter indicating the amount of money owed to the lienholder and for what time period the money is owed.
    • 7.forward copies of documents relating to each transaction to Automotive Pounds Section Headquarters.
III.Automotive Pound Section Vehicle Release
  • A.Neither an owner nor agent is entitled to reclaim a vehicle until the vehicle is released by the investigating officer or a court order. This applies to a vehicle which has been towed or seized:
    • 1.under any provision of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
    • 2.because it has been involved in a hit and run traffic crash.
    • 3.because it is being held for investigation (hold / extended hold).
    • 4.under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner or Public Administrator.
  • B.The Automotive Pound Section will forward a Notification to Reclaim Vehicle letter or approve a Hold Order Removed form to the registered owner of the vehicle, advising him that he may retrieve his vehicle and must contact the Automotive Pound Section within fifteen days if he intends to reclaim the vehicle.
  • C.To reclaim a vehicle on "Hold" the "Hold" must have expired or been removed by the investigating / arresting officer.
  • D.In order to reclaim a vehicle pursuant to a court order releasing a vehicle, the owner or authorized agent must produce the court order which identifies the vehicle model, make, and VIN number. The court seal and judge's written signature must be included.
  • E.A vehicle will not be released from the Automotive Pound unless verification of the court order is confirmed by the Chief Supervisor, Automotive Pound Section.
  • F.Members will instruct owners of towed vehicles who allege that the vehicle has been damaged during or after towing to telephone the City Clerk between the hours of 0830 and 1600 hours, Monday through Friday, as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Damage Claims Against the City."
IV.The City of Chicago, Department of Administrative Hearings
  • A.The City of Chicago, Department of Administrative Hearings (DAH), will assume post-tow hearings of abandoned tows and immediate tows with the exception of those listed in Item II-A of this directive.
  • B.An owner or agent is entitled to a post-tow hearing, if desired, to determine the validity of the tow and any towing or storage fees.
  • C.The DAH will conduct hearings in accordance with the Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC), Chapter 9, Section 92, entitled "Impounding and Relocation of Vehicles."
  • D.Department members will not normally appear at DAH post tow hearings. Members will only appear at post-tow hearings when they receive a notification to appear from the DAH through their unit. Members appearing at a hearing will follow the sign-in and sign-out procedures as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Municipal Administrative Hearings."
  • E.Supervisors notified by a sworn member of their inability to appear at a post-tow hearing should contact the Assistant Corporation Counsel.
Philip J. Cline
Superintendent of Police
04-268 RDR(PMD)