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Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission amend reckless driving towing SOP for MPD

Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission amend reckless driving towing SOP for MPD

By Steve Schuster

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The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission unanimously passed a motion Thursday incorporating and implementing amendments to the police department’s standard operating procedure for towing vehicles associated with reckless driving.

“We added a reference in the requirements for towing reckless vehicles in accordance with the new city ordinance 101-24.9 that was recently passed by the Common Council and signed by Mayor Cavalier Johnson,” said Milwaukee Police Inspector Craig Sarnow during Thursday’s meeting.

Edward Fallone who is a professor of law at Marquette and Chair Commissioner of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission said his understanding of the previous law was that Milwaukee Police could only tow vehicles following reckless driving incidents when a vehicle was unregistered. However, with the recent change in state law, the commission was allowed to draft an amendment providing “for towing if a driver is ticketed for reckless driving if driver has a prior conviction of reckless driving,” Fallone said Thursday.

To view the Milwaukee Police Department’s recently drafted amendment to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 610, click here.

SOP 610 which was adopted in 2022 by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission originally stipulated Milwaukee police can tow an unregistered vehicle when the driver is ticketed for specific types of reckless driving. That restriction (unregistered vehicles only) is reflected state law.

However, under the new reckless driving law recently passed at the state level and signed by Governor Evers expands legal power to tow vehicles to cover instances where police ticket a vehicle for reckless driving that is driven by the owner and the owner has previous reckless driving citations.

The Milwaukee Common Council quickly passed an ordinance that parallels the new state law, Fallone added.

As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, there has been no shortage of reckless driving headlines in the Badger State in recent months, however, among questions that have been largely unaddressed — why (beyond alcohol and speed) are people driving recklessly?

Click here to learn more.





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