Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S07-03
Vehicle Towing and Relocation Operations
Issue Date:30 December 2011Effective Date:01 January 2012
Rescinds:15 November 2010 Version
Index Category:Processing Property
I.Purpose
This directive outlines procedures:
  • A.for processing towed vehicles .
  • B.and responsibilities relating to the automotive pounds.
Department members will refer to the General Order titled "Vehicle Towing and Relocation Operations" for policy and procedures governing towing and relocation operations.
II.Vehicle Towing Procedures
  • A.Auto Pounds Section Responsibilities
    • 1.Chicago Police Department (CPD) Auto Pounds Section Headquarters personnel will:
      • 1.control the inventories and processes of the Auto Pounds Section.
      • 2.supervise the release, hold, or disposal of towed vehicles.
    • 2.CPD Pound Supervisors of the Auto Pounds Section will:
      • 1.supervise all civilian and sworn personnel assigned to CPD pounds.
      • 2.supervise the inventory, appropriate security, condition of vehicles, 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 unable to obtain (UTO) the vehicle identification number (VIN) vehicles to determine the VIN and to ascertain if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
    • 3.CPD Auto Pounds Section personnel will:
      • 1.provide security for their assigned Auto Pound and for vehicles impounded therein.
      • 2.verify information contained on the Vehicle Tow and Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Reports.
        • (1)If there is a discrepancy between the information on the Vehicle Tow and Vehicle Impoundment/Seizure Reports and the physical inventory of the vehicle at the time of arrival at the pound, Auto Pounds Section personnel will prepare a Discrepancy Report, in duplicate.
        • (2)The original copy of the Discrepancy Report will be sent to the Auto 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.
        • (1)If there is a discrepancy 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, Auto Pounds Section personnel will prepare a Discrepancy Report, in duplicate.
        • (2)The original copy of the Discrepancy Report will be sent to the Auto Pounds Section Headquarters.
      • 5.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, Auto Pounds Section has been provided with notarized copies of a:
        • (1)vehicle title (front and back).
        • (2)sales contract.
        • (3)hold harmless letter on company letterhead.
        • (4)letter of default on company letterhead.
        • (5)letter of authorization to pick up vehicle on company letterhead.
      • 6.forward copies of documents relating to each transaction to Auto Pounds Section Headquarters.
  • B.Auto Pound Section Vehicle Release
    • 1.Neither an owner nor agent is entitled to reclaim a vehicle until the vehicle is released by the appropriate investigating member 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.
    • 2.The Auto Pound Section will forward a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle, advising them that they may retrieve their vehicle and must contact the Auto Pound Section within ten days if they intend to reclaim the vehicle.
    • 3.To reclaim a vehicle on "Hold," the "Hold" must have expired or been removed by the investigating / arresting member.
    • 4.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 within thirty (30) days of court order. The court seal and judge’s written signature must be included.
      NOTE:
      A vehicle will not be released from the Automotive Pound unless verification of the court order is confirmed by the commanding officer, Auto Pounds Section.
    • 5.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."
  • C.The City of Chicago, Department of Administrative Hearings
    • 1.The City of Chicago, Department of Administrative Hearings (DAH), will assume post-tow hearings to determine the validity of the tow and any towing, storage, and administrative fees of abandoned tows, immediate tows, and impoundments.
      • a.When a vehicle is towed pursuant to the violations listed in Item II-B-1 of this directive, the DAH hearing will be held in addition other required court proceedings.
      • b.The DAH will conduct hearings in accordance with the Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC), Chapter 9, Section 92, entitled "Impounding and Relocation of Vehicles."
      • c.An owner or agent is entitled to a post-tow hearing, if desired.
    • 2.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 procedures as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Municipal Administrative Hearings."
    • 3.Supervisors notified by a sworn member of their inability to appear at a post-tow hearing should contact the  Assistant Corporation Counsel .
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
08-128 RDR/MWK
PHONE BOOK:
1.
City of Chicago - City Clerk, Claims Division
312-744-6870
2.
City of Chicago - Assistant Corporation Counsel
312-742-8421
3.
Department of Administrative Hearings
400 W. Superior
312-742-4747 / 312-742-8248 (FAX)
4.
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
121 N. LaSalle, Room 805 Chicago, IL 60602
312-744-6060
5.
City of Chicago - Assistant Corporation Counsel
312-742-8421
6.
Evidence & Recovered Property Section - Service Counter
PAX 4289
24 Hours
7.
Public Vehicle Enforcement Unit
PAX 0157
8.
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
121 N. LaSalle, Room 805 Chicago, IL 60602
312-744-6060
9.
Department of Administrative Hearings
400 W. Superior
312-742-4747 / 312-742-8248 (FAX)
10.
Department of Administrative Hearings
400 W. Superior
312-742-4747 / 312-742-8248 (FAX)
11.
Bureau of Organized Crime - 24 Hour Desk
PAX 4300
GLOSSARY TERMS:
1. -
The towing of vehicles involved in certain Chicago Municipal Code violations, such as, violation of tow signs, overnight parking ban and designated snow routes.
ADDENDA:
1.S07-03-01 - Vehicle Relocation Procedures
2.S07-03-02 - Auto Pound Locations
3.S07-03-03 - Vehicle Tows by Private Towing Firms
4.S07-03-04 - Vehicles Unclaimed from Garages, Repair Shops, Public Parking, or Storage Facilities
5.S07-03-05 - Impoundment of Vehicles for Municipal Code Violations
6.S07-03-06 - Seizure and Forfeiture of Vehicles, Vessels, and Aircraft