Wednesday, March 16, 2011

LA becomes 7th city to alter impound practices | California Watch

LA becomes 7th city to alter impound practices | California Watch

Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department became the seventh California law enforcement agency in the past year to alter its policies to reduce the number of illegal immigrants’ cars taken at checkpoints.

Police Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times that the agency’s checkpoint seizure policy had "stuck in my craw as one of the things we weren't doing the right way."

In fiscal year 2009, LAPD impounded more than 1,000 cars at the roadway operations, data from the state Office of Traffic Safety shows.

Going forward, at checkpoints LAPD officers are instructed to seize a vehicle only when it “cannot be released to a licensed driver” at the scene, according to an agency press release. Unlicensed drivers will have “a reasonable period of time” to find someone to legally remove their cars.

That is a significant shift from past practice.

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