Winston-Salem police and City of Winston Salem working to free up space at tow lot

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem police and the City of Winston-Salem are struggling to keep up with the number of towed cars they can store.

The current facility they share is no longer sufficient for both parties needs.

The storage lot’s capacity is 270 cars. Police are currently holding 250 cars at the lot.

Capt. Mike Cardwell, with the Winston-Salem Police Department, says changes in evidence retention laws means police are holding onto cars longer.

“We will hang on to all the evidence in that case and that may take 60 to 80 years depending on if it’s a life sentence,” Cardwell said.

Add that to that the number of abandoned cars Community Development is collecting.

The city tows about 100 cars in a three-month period and in the last two years two people have claimed their vehicles.

Both departments are working towards a solution to free up more space.

“The system that we are proposing we go to, we take the city out of that and we use a contract company basically to store the vehicle, to tow the vehicle and to do the release process,” Cardwell said.

An important part of what’s being looked at in the proposal is making sure there is a practice in place that controls fees associated with the towing company so the public is protected.

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