COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus Division of Police (CDP) is about to start a new operation to tackle the issues abandoned cars across the city are causing. In 2021 there were 11,000 ‘311 requests’ about abandoned or inoperable vehicles, according to CDP.
“The last thing we need is to have any vehicle in the literal and metaphorical sense, to be somewhere where that will attract the negativity and the potential for crime to happen,” said Sgt. James Fuqua.
CDP calls the operation, “Operation Broken Windows.” The program begins on Monday, January 31. Police will put notifications on vehicles they identified as abandoned and owners will have at least one week to move them before they are towed, according to Sgt. Fuqua.
“We’re not trying to get anyone, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to move it on their own,” he said.
Sgt. Fuqua explained the operation will be using community liaison officers so that resources are not taken away from patrol. Hilltop residents Lisa Boggs and Reba Schlosser are looking forward to the new operation. They talked about seeing cars that have not been moved in almost two years, and they’re worried the abandoned vehicles attract crime.
“When you don’t have action on these things that seem small to some people, the little things become the big things,” said Boggs.
The operation will start in the Hilltop area. That’s where CPD has received a considerable amount of new complaints have been coming in from.
“I make calls every week about abandoned cars,” said Schlosser.
Sgt. Fuqua called the abandoned vehicles a quality of life issue and a safety issue. Some of the cars are stolen ones that have been ditched, and some are cars in need of repair which owners haven’t taken care of, according to Sgt. Fuqua. Both police and neighbors hope the new operation brings improvements.
“It’s a pretty big step I think because that’s the largest piece of trash, junk, to get that off the street is huge,” said Boggs.