L.A. Police Vehicle Impounds Down Over New Rules for Illegal Immigrants


Controversial new rules that limit Los Angeles police officers’ impounding vehicles of unlicensed drivers have left officers confused and contributed to a dramatic drop in the number of seized vehicles, says the Los Angeles Times. Last year, police impounded 19,944 vehicles, a 39 percent decline compared with 2011, Deputy Chief Michael Downing told the Police Commission.

One reason for the tumble was Special Order 7, the new policy of Police Chief Charlie Beck last year instructing officers not to place onerous 30-day holds on vehicles if an unlicensed driver met several requirements — including having auto insurance, valid identification and no previous citations for unlicensed driving. Beck and commissioners billed the changes as a fairness issue for illegal immigrants, who are presumed to make up the bulk of unlicensed drivers in California because state law forbids them from being issued licenses.

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