Detroit police chief hopes software will root out towing corruption

The Detroit Police Department announced new measures Tuesday aimed at clamping down on corruption in vehicle towing, an area at the center of an ongoing federal public corruption investigation.

Police Chief James E. White said the department wants to buy computer software that will divvy up jobs to tow companies, taking the “human element” out of the process and reducing the chances someone could steer work to a favored outlet. 

He said the department also will launch an investigative unit staffed by civilians  to ensure towing rules are followed. And they plan to create a software application to allow citizens to request their own tow with clear information on pricing. 

The DPD tow storage yards located on Mt. Elliott and Caniff streets in Hamtramck filled with cars towed to the location on Oct. 09, 2021.

“This has been on ongoing problem in the city, in the department,” White said Tuesday. “The community deserves a transparent process and some of the things that have happened are inexcusable. Those responsible are being held accountable.”

Last week, federal prosecutors charged a retired Detroit police officer with bribery, the fourth person to face charges in connection with an FBI investigation into City Hall, the police department and the towing industry.