DPD, code enforcement ramp up impounding illegal vehicles

impounded illegal vehicles Detroit
Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 23:42:40-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Fresh off of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's State of the City address and his promise to impound illegal vehicles, 7 Action News caught up with police who were out impounding on Thursday.

"2024 is the year we finally rid Detroit of illegal vehicles," Duggan said Wednesday night during his address. "Multiple vehicles stored on the lawns. We're going to prioritize."

Impounded illegal vehicles Detroit

Traditionally, the mayor said municipal code enforcement officers can only ticket on public streets. However, DPD now has a new 12-person code enforcement squad that can legally go on private property.

Watch Duggan's full State of the City address below:

Mayor Mike Duggan delivers 2024 State of the City speech

7 Action News watched as DPD and code enforcement officers towed two vehicles on Thursday that police said were illegally parked on a property on Kenney Street. That's on the east side.

David McGowan lives across the street from the two SUVs that were towed.

illegally impounded vehicles detroit
David McGowan speaks with 7 Action News reporter Darren Cunningham about illegally parked vehicles in Detroit. (April 18, 2024)

"It does take away from the neighborhood when you got cars sitting up on horses and ramps," he said.

Police told us the lot on Kenney Street is Detroit Land Bank property, which means DPD and code enforcement officers can tow without warning.

Furthermore, I’m told the man I spoke with isn’t the legal owner. He just has possession.

impounded illegal vehicles Detroit

Detroit police Capt. Jason Adams said the two SUVs are among the 4,500 impounded so far this year. In 2023, he said the city impounded just under 14,000.

Adams explained the enforcement process.

illegally parked vehicles Detroit
Detroit Police Department Capt. Jason Adams talks to reporters about abandoned vehicles in the city. (April 18, 2024)

"When we receive a complaint on private property, the person is given notice and time to remove the vehicle or reconcile that through the court. If they don’t move and we don’t get voluntary compliance, then we impound the vehicle," Adams said.

On a public street, he said a vehicle owner has 48 hours to remove the vehicle once it’s been tagged. 7 Action News discovered a tagged vehicle on the west side. It was sitting outside of Mary Hartford’s home.

She said the car belongs to her son who was broadsided back in January. The "abandoned vehicle notice" on the windshield has Thursday’s date on it.

Detroit abandoned vehicle notice

That means Hartford's son has until Saturday to move it before it’s impounded.

She said she watched the mayor’s State of the City speech and applauds the enforcement.

“Oh, yes. Get rid of all of them. I get sick of looking at them in the neighborhood and stuff," she told 7 Action News.

Detroit City Director Johnny Thomas
Detroit City Director Johnny Thomas talks about the city impounding illegally parked vehicles. (April 18, 2024)

City director Johnny Thomas said, "It makes me happy to know we're serving the citizens the way they want to be served."