COLORADO SPRINGS — Hundreds of broken down and abandoned cars have been removed from city streets in Colorado Springs.
The city’s Neighborhood Services Division has taken over enforcement from police.
City code says vehicles cannot stay in the same spot on city streets for more than 72 hours without moving.
“It's an important issue, but it's not something that has to be solved right at this moment, such as a criminal activity or some violent behavior," said Neighborhood Services Manager Mitch Hammes.
The transition of responsibility came about because police officers are so busy with 911-type calls that a backlog of abandoned vehicle complaints was growing.
The responsibility is enforcement, only the Neighborhood Services plan is to use an education-first approach.
"We have the time to invest upfront, contacting people, educating them, having those conversations, trying to come up with effective solutions, rather than just coming in, throwing a sticker on it and then taking possession of a vehicle,” Hammes said.
The approach is showing success.
“The majority of time, people just don't know that it's a problem in their neighborhood,” Hammes said. “And a lot of them didn't know that that's a violation of the ordinance.”
When contacted, most people in violation agree to a plan for removal.
Neighborhood Services follows up with an inspection.
Those who do not comply are fined.
To make a complaint about an abandoned vehicle in your neighborhood click here: GoCOS! - Contact Us | City of Colorado Springs
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