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Possible changes to LAPD impound policy ignites tempers

January 18, 2012 |  9:39 am

Tempers flared Tuesday night at a Los Angeles Police Commission community forum on a controversial proposal to ease the towing and impound policy for unlicensed drivers.

Under current laws, the cars of unlicensed drivers are towed and impounded for 30 days if they are stopped by officers. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has proposed lifting the 30-day impound and giving the registered owner or a licensed driver a reasonable chance to retrieve the vehicle.

Critics, including the LAPD police union, say the changes just reward lawbreakers and put politics above safety.

The meeting in Northridge was packed with residents who were overwhelmingly against the change. At one point, things got so heated, police commissioners nearly walked out of the meeting.

Don Rosenberg, whose said his 25-year-old son was killed in an accident involving an unlicensed driver, was one of those who opposed changes to the policy.

"The car should be confiscated and the driver should be arrested, and if they are caught again, then just keep jacking up the penalty until this stops," Rosenberg said. "There's over a million unlicensed drivers in California, and they're killing people every day."

Rosenberg received resounding applause from the crowd when he spoke.

"If you think it's fair, you come down the road and come meet my son in his cemetery and you tell him that this is fair," Rosenberg said, addressing Beck and the commission.

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-- KTLA News

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