Beginning today, Knoxville Police Department officers will no longer respond to certain non-injury crashes.
Much like the Severe Weather Plan and the steps that were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with social distancing guidelines, KPD officers will no longer respond to minor, non-injury crashes unless a car is disabled in the roadway and requires a tow truck or other specific factors are involved.
“Minor, non-injury crashes occupy a lot of our officers’ time and minimize our ability to respond more quickly to higher priority calls or conduct proactive traffic enforcement initiatives to actually prevent serious crashes from happening,” Chief Paul Noel said. “We want to recapture that time so that we can focus our efforts on being visible in city neighborhoods and addressing violent crime.”
An analysis of recent crash data revealed that KPD officers cumulatively spend around 24 hours per day working minor, non-injury crashes when factoring in the time it takes to get to the call, collect the relevant information, and complete the report.
KPD officers will continue to respond to crashes that result in injury or death, crashes involving a suspected intoxicated driver, crashes involving an unlicensed or uninsured driver, crashes that result in a disabled vehicle in the road and crashes involving a disorderly or uncooperative party.
If drivers are involved in a non-injury crash that does not involve any of those factors, drivers will be advised to move their car out of the roadway to a safe location, civilly exchange information, take cell phone photos and share the applicable information with their respective insurance companies, and file required documents with the state.
“This is really a minor change to our operations so that we can focus more narrowly on what is essential to our core mission as a department,” Chief Noel said. “This is also just a small piece of a larger strategic vision. We are taking a close look at how, when and where officers are deployed so that we can more effectively address higher priority public safety issues and concerns.”
This change will take effect today. For more information, visit https://www.knoxvilletn.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=109562&pageId=18772506