Mayor Fischer and LMPD Chief Shields provide update on steps to get more abandoned vehicles off the roads

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Mayor Greg Fischer joined Chief Erika Shields of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and Maj. Emily McKinley today to provide an update on recent improvements to the disposal of abandoned and wrecked vehicles in the streets.

“Over the years, many of our agencies, including LMPD, Facilities and Louisville Forward, have worked with the Metro Council and residents to find solutions to the complex issues plaguing our pound,” the mayor said. “Significant progress has been made over the past few months, including the amnesty order, regular auctions, a new auxiliary storage location, tracking improvements and easier reporting through Metro311, which help reduce overcrowding on our existing land.”

Efforts include:

  • Auctions: A contract with Auctions ASAP allows auctions to take place twice a month. Auctions are held both online and in person, increasing opportunities for buyers nationwide.
  • Amnesty Ordinance: In January, the Mayor signed the Subway Board Ordinance giving the city’s Director of Public Works the ability to declare an amnesty period, not to exceed 30 days, during which all towing and storage fees are waived for those who pick up their vehicle at the impound lot. The order, passed by Council on December 16, was designed to remove a financial impediment that could contribute to overcrowding at the pound and resulted in the removal of 89 vehicles from the pound.
  • Auxiliary Storage: The city has contracted with IAAI for an auxiliary storage location in case LMPD and the contracted towing company, Suburban, become overcrowded.
  • Improvements to the existing pound: the city is adding features to beautify and alleviate any visual or safety issues at the pound, including lighting and fencing, and planting trees and shrubs with the help of Trees Louisville and State.
  • Inventory Improvements: To better inform LMPD of existing field vehicle inventory, including vehicle make/model and location, and to improve and speed up vehicle recovery, the city has started barcode each vehicle to increase efficiency.

Metro311: The city has enhanced its Metro311 app to include an option for users to report abandoned vehicles. A photo of the vehicle and the location is sufficient; the report will be forwarded to the LMPD.

“I am confident in the direction we are heading with the LMPD pound,” Chief Shields said. “We have identified several action points to improve the handling of abandoned vehicles and the function of the lot. In addition, we are improving technology to streamline vehicle processing.

In December 2021, the city announced plans for a new LMPD auction lot located off 7th Street Road to alleviate the challenge of abandoned vehicles.

The mayor noted that “the steps we are taking now will help us better understand the size of the number of vehicles we have to deal with. After that, we can assess what role the 7th Street property will play.

Since January 2022, LMPD has towed 267 abandoned vehicles from the roads of Louisville.

The city’s existing impound, located for at least 50 years at 1478 Frankfort Avenue in Butchertown, serves as the main temporary storage area for towed cars from across the city, and a longer-term storage area for detained vehicles as evidence in legal proceedings. Its capacity is around 1,800 vehicles and today around 1,250 cars are stored in the field.

“We believe these measures contribute to our whole-of-government approach to public safety,” the mayor said. “Removing abandoned vehicles from the roads creates safer communities for residents and our officers.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a vehicle can visit https://louisville-police.org/188/Vehicle-Auctions.

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