PUEBLO — The Colorado Springs and the Pueblo Police Departments have let abandoned cars fall to the wayside as they deal with staffing shortages.
"We're doing the best we can with the numbers we have," said Vanessa Jones, Community Service Officer (CSO) Manager.
CSOs are in charge of tagging and eventually towing abandoned cars in Colorado Springs.
The City's GOCOS! App shows the number of abandoned cars reported through December 13 shows the city is expected to surpass the 209 reported in November.
"We feel like because we can't get out to it, it is a disservice to the community. But all the way around it's staffing for police officers, it's staffing for dispatch, it's staffing for the community service officer unit," said Jones.
The Pueblo Police Department says they only have one Parking
Enforcement Officer employee right now. In other years, they have has up to six Parking Enforcement Officers at a time.
"My parking enforcer gets yelled at, talked down to a lot. Some people don't have the mental stability to be able to take that," said Michael Sincerbox, Supervisor of the Pueblo Police Department's Traffic Division.
ABANDONED VEHICLES— Pueblo Police Department (@PuebloPolice1) December 3, 2021
Due to staffing issues, the traffic division has only been able to respond to complaints of abandoned vehicles. During this week, we will be proactively looking for vehicles that are abandoned on public streets.
Sincerbox says even though tagging abandoned cars is one of the "lowest-priority" things they can do, he believes residents have a right to a well-kept neighborhood.
"People are proud of the neighborhood that they live in, so if people are parking junk out in front repeatedly and over and over again and not caring about their neighborhood, then we'll help out with that."
According to Colorado Law, "A Motor Vehicle Is Considered Abandoned On Public Property When left unattended on public property for a period of 48 hours or longer".
However, PPD says they typically give people 72 hours before towing after tagging the car.
If a car is blocking a driveway or comes up stolen, it will be towed immediately.
A car which is nonoperational cannot be parked in a public street.
CSPD says they will be getting in a new wave of CSOs soon, and they hope they will be able to get more abandoned cars off of the streets.