Chapter 8.68
LAW ENFORCEMENT VEHICLE IMPOUNDS

Sections:

8.68.010    Application for letter of appointment.

8.68.020    Application form for letter of appointment.

8.68.030    Processing of application.

8.68.040    Issuance of letter of appointment.

8.68.050    Registration of drivers.

8.68.060    Suspension or revocation of letter of appointment.

8.68.070    Letter does not grant vested right.

8.68.080    Appeal.

8.68.090    Vehicle towing operator qualifications.

8.68.100    Rates.

8.68.110    Penalties.

8.68.120    Bid process alternative provision for tow truck services.

8.68.010 Application for letter of appointment.

An application for a letter of appointment to provide towing services for the city of Bothell shall be filed by the applicant with the city of Bothell police department. In the case of a partnership, each partner shall apply on the form prescribed. In the case of a corporation, the city may require that each of the present, and any subsequent, officers, managers and stockholders holding any of the total issued and outstanding stock of the applicant corporation complete an application form. Each application for letter of appointment shall comply with the current business license ordinance before the letter of appointment will be issued.

The filing of an application for a letter of appointment to tow upon request of the police department does not in itself authorize the towing operator to provide towing services pursuant to these regulations until a letter of appointment has been issued and signed by the chief of police. The police department shall not call a towing business unless a permanent letter has been issued in connection with such business by the chief of police. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit the police department from calling the towing business upon the specific request of the person responsible for the vehicle, or his agent. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.020 Application form for letter of appointment.

A.    The application for a letter of appointment shall be made on the form prescribed by the chief of police. Upon request, the chief of police shall advise the applicant of the contents of these regulations and of the standards established for the issuance of a letter of appointment.

B.    The application form for such letter of appointment shall contain the following:

1.    Name and residence address of the applicant;

2.    Business name and address from which the business will be conducted;

3.    Information pertaining to the applicant or employee of the business, pertaining to criminal and/or misdemeanor convictions, forfeitures, claims and/or judgments against them, within the past 10 years and, if affirmatively answered, further information as may be requested by the chief of police.

C.    Location of any storage areas.

D.    List of all vehicles to be used in connection with the business, including make, model, motor number, year, current vehicle license number and color scheme of each vehicle.

E.    Names and addresses of all persons to be engaged as employees in the operation of the tow truck business, with description of the position of each employee.

F.    Experience that the applicant and/or employees have had in the tow truck business.

G.    Any other information the chief of police deems reasonably necessary.

H.    Evidence of compliance with applicable state requirements for tow truck operators and tow truck permits as set forth in Chapter 46.55 RCW, as amended, and applicable regulations adopted pursuant thereto. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.030 Processing of application.

A.    Every application for authorization to provide a towing service at the request of the police department will be processed by the chief of police.

B.    If the chief of police finds that the requirements of this chapter have been satisfied by the applicant, and that the applicant is otherwise qualified, the chief of police shall issue an appropriate letter of appointment, and so notify the applicant.

C.    If the chief of police or his/her designee finds that the applicant is not qualified and does not meet the requirements of this chapter, then the chief of police shall deny such application and shall so notify the applicant of the decision. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.040 Issuance of letter of appointment.

A.    No towing operator shall be called to perform a towing service at the request of the police department unless such operator has a letter of appointment, as described in this chapter, from the city.

B.    Every letter of appointment shall be issued in the name of the applicant, and the holder thereof shall not allow any other person to use the letter of appointment. In the event of incapacity, death, receivership, bankruptcy or assignment for benefit of creditors of any appointee, the appointment shall be deemed revoked by operation of law.

C.    A copy of the current letter of appointment shall be posted at all times in the place of business of the applicant.

D.    The letter of appointment will only be valid for the place of business named on the application and will not apply to any other place of business.

E.    Except as otherwise provided herein, a letter of appointment shall be valid for two years unless superseded or revoked by the chief of police.

F.    Each separate place of business must have a letter of appointment.

G.    Each letter of appointment shall be signed by the applicant agreeing to the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.050 Registration of drivers.

Each applicant, at the time of application, and all operators, before employing any tow truck driver, shall submit the names and addresses of the drivers to the chief of police. All such drivers must be at least 21 years of age, must possess a valid Washington State driver’s license, and must not have been convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, reckless driving, or having their driver’s license suspended in this or any other state within the last five years, or have been convicted of any felony within the last 10 years. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.060 Suspension or revocation of letter of appointment.

Upon receiving evidence that any appointee has failed to comply with, or no longer complies with, any requirement or provision of these rules and regulations, the chief of police may deny, suspend, or revoke the letter of appointment. The police department shall maintain files of complaints received from any person. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.070 Letter does not grant vested right.

The issuance of any letter of appointment by the chief of police shall not be construed as granting a vested right in any of the privileges so conferred. Misrepresentation of fact found to have been made by the applicant shall be sufficient cause for the denial, suspension or revocation of such letter of appointment. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.080 Appeal.

Any person aggrieved by a decision of the chief of police denying, suspending or revoking a letter of appointment may, within 10 days of the date of such decision, appeal such decision to the city manager, who shall conduct a hearing within 30 days of any appeal, or longer, for good cause shown by the person aggrieved. In determining an appeal, the city manager shall hear and consider all pertinent evidence, and consider the criteria set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.090 Vehicle towing operator qualifications.

In addition to applicable state law requirements and requirements of this chapter as now or hereafter amended, tow truck operators appointed or hired to perform towing service pursuant to this chapter shall observe the following practices and procedures:

A.    When called by the police department, the tow truck operator will arrive at the scene within 20 minutes for Class A or B trucks and within 30 minutes for Class C trucks.

B.    If, for any reason, a tow truck operator on rotation is unable to dispatch a tow truck within the stated time, the tow truck operator shall so advise the police dispatch center. In the event the tow truck does not arrive at the scene within 20 minutes for Class A or B trucks and within 30 minutes for Class C trucks, the police department will contact another tow business to perform the necessary services.

C.    A tow operator on rotation who is unable to dispatch within the time stated in subsections A and B of this section will forfeit his turn and be placed at the bottom of the rotation list as if he had responded.

D.    Consistent refusal to respond or failure of the appointee to arrive within 20 minutes for Class A or B trucks and within 30 minutes for Class C trucks to calls from the police department for towing services may result in the suspension or revocation of the tow operator’s letter of appointment or towing contract.

E.    The tow operator shall immediately advise the police department when he receives a private call for a tow and the circumstances indicate that the tow is for a vehicle which has been involved in an accident or other such incident on the public roadway. The tow operator also shall immediately advise the police department of all traffic accidents on private property resulting in bodily injury or death when the operator has received a private call for a tow at such an accident.

F.    The tow operator will notify the police department before moving any vehicle involved in an accident on a public highway under the jurisdiction of the Bothell police department, or where it appears that the driver of the vehicle to be moved is under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, or is otherwise incapacitated.

G.    When the police department is in charge of an accident scene or other such incident, a tow operator shall not respond to such scene unless his services have been specifically requested by the police department.

H.    The tow operator shall be available 24 hours a day for the purpose of receiving calls or arranging for the release of vehicles. Business hours will be posted conspicuously at the operator’s place of business so they can be seen during business hours and nonbusiness hours.

I.    The tow operator shall have a secure storage area for the vehicles stored by the operator at the request of the police department. All storage areas shall be fenced, lighted and secure. Lighting will be of sufficient illumination to permit visual inspection of all vehicles stored during the hours of darkness. Fences will be of sufficient strength and height to discourage entry to the storage area, except through controlled gates. Each operator will have available an enclosed garage for use and storage of vehicles containing or considered to be evidence in criminal or civil proceedings. This enclosure will have all windows, if any, barred. The storage area will be located within five miles of the city limits of the city of Bothell; provided, that this requirement can be waived by the chief of police if it appears that capacity of lots is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the city and so long as any lot is reasonably convenient to the residents of the city.

J.    Tow operators will post current towing service rates in a conspicuous place at the company’s place of business. All rates for the city of Bothell requested services shall not exceed the uniform rate established by the Washington State Patrol.

K.    Tow operators will maintain, for three years, records on towed and released vehicles which were towed at the request of the police department. This record will include, but not be limited to:

1.    An itemized receipt of charges to the claimant of the vehicle;

2.    An inventory sheet or copy thereof, made out by the officer at the scene of the tow and signed by the tow truck driver.

    Such records will be available for inspection by the police department during normal business hours.

L.    The tow truck driver will sign an inventory sheet made out by the officer at the scene of the tow, and receive a copy upon release of vehicle from impound.

M.    Tow operators will obtain registration as a disposer by the Department of Licensing pursuant to applicable state requirements.

N.    Each towing operator shall carry and shall provide proof to the chief of police of minimum insurance requirements of: $1,000,000 for liability for bodily injury or property damage per occurrence, and $100,000 of legal liability per occurrence, to protect against vehicle damage, including but not limited to fire and theft, from the time a vehicle comes into the custody of an operator until it is redeemed or sold.

    The chief of police shall be notified within 30 days of any change which leaves the tow operator without the necessary minimum coverage. A copy of the insurance policy or certificate of coverage shall be filed with the chief of police. The insurer shall notify the chief of police 30 days in advance of any cancellation if the policy is sought to be canceled.

O.    Towing operators shall perform towing tasks completely and competently. The standard of competence shall be that quality of work which is accepted as efficient and effective within the towing industry. The chief of police will investigate all quality of work complaints, and report his findings to the city manager. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.100 Rates.

All tow truck operators having a letter of appointment to provide towing services for the city of Bothell shall maintain approved uniform rates, not to exceed the maximum allowable rates as published by the Washington State Patrol. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.110 Penalties.

Any violation of these rules and regulations may result in the suspension, revocation or denial of the letter of appointment by the chief of police. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).

8.68.120 Bid process alternative provision for tow truck services.

As an alternative to those provisions of this chapter relating to providing tow truck service to the city by and through a letter of appointment, the city may obtain said services by contracting for said services after negotiation following competitive bidding or other procedure approved by the city council. Such contract shall supersede any and all letters of appointment issued to a tow truck operator. (Ord. 2042 § 1, 2010).