Helena looks to revamp policy for abandoned vehicles

Posted at 10:55 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 12:56:00-04

HELENA – The City of Helena is considering changes to the way it handles reports of abandoned vehicles. Each year, the city receives hundreds of complaints about cars, trucks and trailers left on the street.

For more than 40 years, the policy has been to wait for a complaint to come in before taking action. Captain Curt Stinson with the Helena Police Department said citizens groups and others have asked for a more proactive response.

In a memo to the city manager, HPD said that leaves them with a few options, including reassigning officers from other areas to focus on abandoned cars or police could bring in reserve officers to do the job. Stinson said they’re not sure what – if any – options will be pursued.

Stinson said the winter months are when abandoned vehicles are most noticeable.

“When you get into the winter time and you start having the snow built up on the side of the road, you start having the issues with the snow plows or you start noticing those when the snow piles up around them,” Stinson said. “So I think the complaints go up and they’re just a lot more noticeable.”

In light of possible changes to the abandoned vehicle policy, HPD asks that people find other storage options aside from street parking for their cars and recreational vehicles.